Plas­tic-eat­ing pro­tein found

Evening Express (City Final) - - UK & Abroad -

AN EN­GI­NEERED en­zyme that eats plas­tic could usher in a re­cy­cling revo­lu­tion, sci­en­tists hope. Bri­tish re­searchers cre­ated the plas­tic-di­gest­ing pro­tein ac­ci­den­tally while in­ves­ti­gat­ing its nat­u­ral coun­ter­part. Tests showed that the lab-made mu­tant had a su­per­charged abil­ity to break down poly­eth­yl­ene tereph­tha­late (PET), one of the most popular forms of plas­tic em­ployed by the food and drinks in­dus­try. The new re­search sprang from the dis­cov­ery of bac­te­ria in a Ja­panese waste re­cy­cling cen­tre that had evolved the abil­ity to feed on plas­tic. The bugs used a nat­u­ral en­zyme called Pe­tase to di­gest PET bot­tles and con­tain­ers. While prob­ing the molec­u­lar struc­ture of Pe­tase, the UK team in­ad­ver­tently cre­ated a pow­er­ful new ver­sion of the pro­tein.

PO­LICE were to­day in­ves­ti­gat­ing an­other fa­tal stab­bing in the cap­i­tal as a spate of vi­o­lent crime con­tin­ues.

The vic­tim – be­lieved to be an 18-year-old man -– was dis­cov­ered with se­ri­ous in­juries in For­est Gate, east Lon­don, yes­ter­day. Of­fi­cers, paramedics and Lon­don’s Air Am­bu­lance rushed to Ch­est­nut Av­enue at about 10.50pm. The teenager was pro­nounced dead at the scene just over half an hour later.

His death brought the num­ber of mur­ders in Lon­don so far this year to around 59.

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