Via The Times:
It is created from short strands of DNA, the substance that carries genetic code and which forms a twisting double helix structure inside living cells. The researchers obtained their raw material from salmon sperm, although just about any living thing is a potential source.
These filaments of DNA are combined with a chemical derived from vegetable oil, which binds the strands together. This produces a squishy, malleable substance known as a hydrogel that can be fashioned into different shapes using moulds.
The gel is then freeze dried, which removes water and causes it to solidify.
The research was published this month in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. DNA-based plastic is just one discovery in a rapidly-growing bioplastics industry, but it's not a perfect alternative to the polyethylene we're used to. The DNA-based plastic turns into a gel when wet, which defeats some of its purpose. The team of scientists, based in China at Tianjin University, believe the substance could still be used in electronics or packaging.
The discovery is a tiny step toward sustainable bioplastics, but ultimately, the climate crisis is going to require a lot more than jizzing into a cup.