In 2016 a bacterium that had naturally evolved to eat PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic was discovered at a dump in Japan. Scientists who were studying the bacterium say that when they tweaked the bacterium's plastic-eating enzyme to better understand how it evolved, they accidentally created an even more voracious plastic-eating enzyme.
From The Guardian:
“What actually turned out was we improved the enzyme, which was a bit of a shock,” said Prof John McGeehan, at the University of Portsmouth, UK, who led the research. “It’s great and a real finding.”
The mutant enzyme takes a few days to start breaking down the plastic – far faster than the centuries it takes in the oceans. But the researchers are optimistic this can be speeded up even further and become a viable large-scale process.
“What we are hoping to do is use this enzyme to turn this plastic back into its original components, so we can literally recycle it back to plastic,” said McGeehan. “It means we won’t need to dig up any more oil and, fundamentally, it should reduce the amount of plastic in the environment.”
And I didn’t even know Keith Richards was missing. The New York Times reports on the discovery of a mudlarker’s body in the Thames mud, complete with thigh-high leather boots. Britons fishing or scavenging in the River Thames in central London are a rare sight these days. But in medieval times, the river was teeming […]
Rudy Giuliani fatfingered a tweet last week and inadvertently referenced a nonexistent URL (G-20.in); some clever wag registered the URL and stood up a static landing page that reads "Donald J. Trump is a traitor to our country."
How bad is the Marriott/Starwood breach disclosed today? “Unauthorized access to the Starwood network since 2014 … For approximately 327M of these guests, the info includes some combination of name, mailing address, phone number, email address, passport number.” Marriott says information from as many as 500 million people has been compromised, and credit card numbers […]
Businesses of any size continue to use PDFs despite – and perhaps because of – their stubborn resistance to simple editing. But for those who need a little flexibility on their documentation, the search is over for alternative software. PDF Expert for Mac is the catch-all solution for wrangling those PDFs, and it’s available at […]
When it comes to tech, smaller is better, and these items fit the bill both in terms of size and price. We’ve rounded up our favorite stocking-ready gadgets, most of which are already on sale – and you can take an additional 15% off any of them with the special code MERRY15. iPM 3-in-1 Fast […]
So you’ve got a good eye for pictures? We’ve got a good eye for deals. And this holiday, there are some solid deals out there for photographers. Check out some of our favorite recent discounts on gear, software, and e-learning for photogs of any experience. Gadgets RevolCam: The Multi-Lens Photo Revolution for Smartphones This […]