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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

 

Bacteria Turns Styrofoam into Biodegradable Plastic

`Bacteria are everywhere, silently going about their business of breaking down cellulose, fermenting foods or fixing nitrogen in the soil, among a host of other activities. Given their ubiquity and diversity of functions, biotechnologists have been searching for new uses for different strains of the microscopic organisms, such as consuming oil spills or even capturing images. Now biologists at the University College Dublin in Ireland have found that a strain of Pseudomonas putida can exist quite happily on a diet of pure styrene oil–the oil remnant of superheated Styrofoam–and, in the process, turn the environmental problem into a useful, biodegradable plastic.’




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