Plastic-eating protein found
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.