Lab breakthrough may help ‘super-enzymes’ fight plastic waste: study

– Plastic waste is a major and growing problem worldwide. Now, researchers say they are closing in on a possible game-changing solution that could be commercially available in a year or two, reports Guardian. Scientists have created a “super-enzyme” that breaks down plastic six times faster than previous iterations. The breakthrough came when he linked the previously discovered enzyme (PETase) to another (MHETase), a release from the UK University of Portsmouth. “Our first experiments showed that they actually worked better together, so we decided to try to connect them physically, like two Pac-Men joined together in one piece of string,” researcher John Says McGihan. According to the new study in the results, the process started faster than expected Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

“When we added enzymes, rather unexpectedly, we got a dramatic increase in activity,” McGeehan says, per Guardian. The super-enzyme polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, degrades CNN, the major component of single-use bottles and the like. The speed at which it works is too slow to be commercially viable, but researchers think it has the potential to change quickly, especially if they partner with firms such as Carbios of France, which have their own K discovered a plastic-eating enzyme, although one that required high temperatures. McGihan says, “If we can make better, faster enzymes by linking them together and providing them to companies like Carbios and working in partnership, then we can start doing so within the next year or two . ” Guardian. Another enzyme combo with petas can improve the recycling of fabrics made from fabrics such as polyester. (Read more plastic stories.)


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