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Bug that eats plastic...

 
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User ID: 1394485
United States
05/24/2011 03:56 PM
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Bug that eats plastic...
[link to rt.com]
Bug munches plastic trash, possibly cleaning oceans
permalink email story to a friend print version Published: 29 March, 2011, 13:31

Nature may have found a way to dispose of the huge amounts of plastic garbage, which has been increasingly accumulating in the oceans. A small bacteria feeding on it has been discovered. This may be a boon or a bane for the aquatic environment.
The bacteria was discovered through electron microscopy on plastic items sampled at the Sargasso Sea, an area in the North Atlantic, where debris tends to stack up due to local currents.

The primitive organisms live in pits in the plastic and appear to feed on it as well, says marine microbiologist Tracy Mincer of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts.

"They look like you took a hot barbecue briquette and threw it into snow," Nature News cites Mincer as saying. "You see this melting bit all around the outside of the cells, and they're just burrowing into the plastic."

The specialized bug is not encountered in other environment, like surrounding seawater or seaweed.

Scientists are not yet sure whether these organisms will eventually do more good than harm in dealing with pollution. If their digestion products are environmentally-friendly, then it would mean that nature has found a new way to limit the damage humanity does.

But plastic contains numerous toxins, and the bacteria may be introducing those into the food chain by feeding on it and then becoming food for larger organism.
John 8:32
And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free...
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 397079
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05/24/2011 04:05 PM
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Re: Bug that eats plastic...
Neat!

If given enough time things will evolve to cope with any new kind of environment.

Where there is a niche there is an opportunity, and nature takes advantage of every opportunity it gets.

Even if it does produce harmful chemicals, other stuff will adapt.

The only way we could possibly kill everything on earth is by incinerating the planet, otherwise life will carry on.

Some will die, sure, but more will come to take there place. That’s just the way it works.

The real issue with us is weather or not we can biologically adapt to the changes we make without loosing our best qualities.

Regardless of how high we may place ourselves on a pedestal we are no more then just another virulent critter scurrying around on the planet surface. Making changes like everything else.

There is no such thing as good or bad. Just the strong and the weak…
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 397079
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05/24/2011 04:07 PM
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Re: Bug that eats plastic...
So now we have discovered a bacterium that feeds on:

Radiation
Oil

And now!

Plastic

Woot!!!

Now all we need is one that feeds on Porn and we won’t have to worry about a thing.

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