John Macgeehan liking parting BLOCK John Macgeehan

Researchers Make an Enzyme to Break Down Plastic in Just a Few Days

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single-use plastic bottles, carpets, and clothing. While it’s cheap to produce, it takes hundreds of years to break down in the environment.

ADVERTISEMENTHowever, PETase can break it down in just a few days. ADVERTISEMENTProfessor John McGeehan, lead co-author and director of the Centre for Enzyme Innovation at the University of Portsmouth, helped develop PETase in 2018.

Along with other scientists, he created the enzyme entirely by accident while trying to mutate it in a laboratory. The team hoped the unexpected finding would finally solve the plastic pollution crisis.They engineered the natural PETase enzyme to break down PET 20% faster, but the new super enzyme delivers even better results.

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