Patent for a Healthy Future: Plastic-Eating Enzyme Holds Promise In Fighting Pollution

Scientists in Britain and the United States say they have engineered a plastic-eating enzyme that could in future help in the fight against pollution.The enzyme is able to digest polyethylene terephthalate, or PET - a form of plastic patented in the 1940s and now used in millions of tonnes of plastic bottles. PET plastics can persist for hundreds of years in the environment and currently pollute large areas of land and sea worldwide. Finding that this enzyme was helping a bacteria to break down, or digest, PET plastic, the researchers decided to “tweak” its structure by adding some amino acids, said John McGeehan, a professor at Portsmouth who co-led the work.

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Until the enzyme poops out something that's even worse...:)

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Yes, great, but what happens if there is no more plastic in the environment for these microbes to consume? What would they go for?

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Any chance of this ending up accidentally affecting all plastics, essentially acting on plastics like rust on iron?

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Some possible good news WRT combating plastic pollution. I truly hope we leave a better planet for our kids than the one we have right now...

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This is a great advance but not a solution if we don't recycle. We have to stop producing and using plastics so that this enzime has its purpose. Otherwise we are spinning around.  

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