Maastricht Economic and social Research and  training centre on Innovation and Technology

 
Levelling Latin America
Mining innovation can bring more sustainable and inclusive growth, especially across the Americas…
See: https://www.merit.unu.edu/mining-in-latin-america-using-innovation-to-level-the-playing-field/



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All headlines
  • A mystery source is producing banned ozone-destroying chemicals
  • Water filter inspired by Alan Turing passes first test
  • Scientists transplant memory from one snail to another
  • In an interplanetary first, NASA to fly a helicopter on Mars
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  • Plastic-eating enzyme holds promise in fighting pollution
    Scientists in Britain and the Us 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.

    Researchers from Britain's University of Portsmouth and the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory made the discovery while examining the structure of a natural enzyme thought to have evolved in a waste recycling centre in Japan.

    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. This led to a serendipitous change in the enzyme's actions - allowing its plastic-eating abilities to work faster.

    The team is now working on improving the enzyme further to see if they can make it capable of breaking down PET plastics on an industrial scale.

    Reuters / PNAS    April 16, 2018