27-year-old Miley Cyrus and 30-year-old Liam Hemsworth divorced exactly one year ago, but still continue to remember each other quite often in conversations with reporters. Recently, Miley indulged in nostalgia once again. During a recording Miley Cyrus boyfriend list of the podcast Barstool Call Her Daddy, the singer said that her ex-husband was her first man. It happened almost 10 years before they got married. I didn’t have that with men until I was 16, but I ended up marrying this guy,
According to a new study, microbes in oceans and soils around the world are evolving to eat plastic. The study by Chalmers University in Sweden was published recently in the journal Microbial Ecology.
The study is the first large-scale assessment of the plastic-degrading potential of bacteria. There are 95 microbial enzymes already known to degrade plastic.
The researchers looked for similar enzymes in environmental DNA samples taken from bacteria from 236 different locations around the world. They found that one in four of the organisms analyzed carried suitable enzymes. Overall, they found many thousands of new enzymes.
The explosion of plastic production in the past 70 years has given microbes time to evolve to make use of plastic. About 12,000 new enzymes were found in ocean samples and 18,000 in soil samples. Nearly 60% of the new enzymes did not fit into any known enzyme classes, suggesting that these molecules degrade plastics in ways that were previously unknown. The large number of enzymes in such a wide range of habitats is an indication of the scale of the problem of plastics in the environment.
The first bacterium that eats plastic was discovered in a Japanese waste dump in 2016. Scientists tweaked that microbe in 2018 and managed to create an enzyme that was even better at breaking down plastic bottles.
The next step in research is to test the most promising enzyme candidates in the laboratory to investigate their properties and see how effective they can be in plastic degradation. The hope is to be able to engineer microbial communities with targeted degrading functions for specific polymer types.
Photo, posted June 19, 2013, courtesy of Alan Levine via Flickr.