16yr Old Boy Discovers Microbe that Eats Plastic

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posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 09:15 PM
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It's not your average science fair when the 16-year-old winner manages to solve a global waste crisis. But such was the case at last month's May's Canadian Science Fair in Waterloo, Ontario, where Daniel Burd, a high school student at Waterloo Collegiate Institute, presented his research on microorganisms that can rapidly biodegrade plastic. Daniel had a thought it seems even the most esteemed PhDs hadn't considered. Plastic, one of the most indestructible of manufactured materials, does in fact eventually decompose. It takes 1,000 years but decompose it does, which means there must be microorganisms out there to do the decomposing.


Link To Full Article

I haven't heard anything about this on the MSM news, i personally think its pretty incredible that a 16 year old boy has solved a problem that has been around for 50years or so.

I know i wasn't solving earth's problem at age 16




posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 09:25 PM
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Lets hope those things can live in water and we can dump them into the trash piles in the ocean.



posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 09:36 PM
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Originally posted by Sundancer
Lets hope those things can live in water and we can dump them into the trash piles in the ocean.


Because releasing microbes where they don't belong has never been a bad thing before.

On a lighter note, imagine a recycling bin that you add water to and the output is good for your garden, or fuel.



posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 11:24 PM
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here's a pic of the kid




posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 11:30 PM
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reply to post by Sundancer
 


I was thinking the exact same thing. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch seems like our most pressing concern. All that plastic is thought to be photodegradable, which is much worse than it sounds. The plastic never actually goes anywhere, it just separates into smaller and smaller pieces, then eventually ends up in the food chain.

Our oceans are so polluted I don't even eat sea food anymore, out of concern for my health



posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 11:33 PM
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Wow, that's awsome what a smart kid!



posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 11:37 PM
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I think this has been discovered before, but who knows what happened to the inventors.

I feel like its deja vu again. I'm sure a young woman was the last person to discover this before this guy.

What's the name of the bacteria and where is it found?



posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 11:37 PM
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The kid will be very successful if he can keep his common sense. It seems to me that scientist lose theirs as they grow older and study more books.



posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 12:21 AM
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reply to post by star in a jar
 


I remember a year or so ago reading about a company called LS9 Biofuels. They had found a way to modify an Escherichia coli bacterium to eat anything and poop out crude oil.



posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 09:18 AM
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Originally posted by Alaskan Man
here's a pic of the kid



I have to say....that's exactly what i expected him to look like.

Good on ya mate.



posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 09:39 AM
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reply to post by Alaskan Man
 


well that's not surprising lol

but Kudos although it changes nothing of this world...yet



posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 09:41 AM
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reply to post by bonsaisert
 


i loled thats what i was thinking,
but still the fact he just pwned some stuffy scientists is good..yet i don't see it changing anything

if he cured cancer or something then i'd probbably commision a statue in his honour lol



posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 09:45 AM
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Originally posted by Alaskan Man

It's not your average science fair when the 16-year-old winner manages to solve a global waste crisis. But such was the case at last month's May's Canadian Science Fair in Waterloo, Ontario, where Daniel Burd, a high school student at Waterloo Collegiate Institute, presented his research on microorganisms that can rapidly biodegrade plastic. Daniel had a thought it seems even the most esteemed PhDs hadn't considered. Plastic, one of the most indestructible of manufactured materials, does in fact eventually decompose. It takes 1,000 years but decompose it does, which means there must be microorganisms out there to do the decomposing.


Link To Full Article

I haven't heard anything about this on the MSM news, i personally think its pretty incredible that a 16 year old boy has solved a problem that has been around for 50years or so.

I know i wasn't solving earth's problem at age 16


Cool now we can pollute as we want!! Will think the stupid idiots..



posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 09:50 AM
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I've seen this before but I don't remember where did it start.

Here you can see one of the first:
www.jornada.unam.mx... lla:en-US
fficial%26hs%3DTGS" target="_blank" class="postlink">Investigated use of bacteria to degrade plastic

I also remember that while I was finishing my Biology degree in Portugal there was also a team that already had found bacteria not only able to degrade plastic but also able to generate biodegradable plastic.

I'm afraid this isn't new, it's just like the "cancer cure", it might already be out there but there's no interest to let it go world wide.

[edit on 02/11/2008 by novrod]



posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 09:54 AM
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If his microbes work at a reasonably fast pace and the resulting product is in any way useable or processable into a type of fuel or raw material then he's got gold.
It needs to be processed in secured ponds or tanks but the ability to do this can eventually be used to process wastes that are just going into landfills or the enviroment.
It is an important step.
Thank goodness there are still intelligent people out there trying to do good things.

As far as the picture goes:Yes. the kid looks like a class A nerd but he might end up being a rich nerd, and those guys end up doing pretty well.



posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 10:11 AM
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Yeah, this is not new. It even says in the article someone else made a similar discovery a few years ago.


Now, as for me. I will now start working on a bacteria that eats the plastic eating bacteria. When this is bio engineered into a super plastic consumer, escapes into the wild, and starts eating everyones televisions, cars, bowls, tupperware, computers, etc... I will make a killing.



posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 10:14 AM
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I bet he went to a private school.



posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 10:22 AM
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That is awesome! I have been thinking a lot lately about all the plastic problems we have in this world...how plastic now outweighs plankton in our oceans. Who knows....this could be an amazing way to rid the world of plastic.



posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 10:35 AM
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Those microbes probably live in the plastic (of what is left of it) of the interior from my 1978 Pontiac Grand Prix. It is really decomposing, if you touch it, it crumbles like rotten dry wood or dry clay.

Anyone in for a sample?
50$!



posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 11:04 AM
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Bet the military wants to get their hands on that. Weaponize it and spray it across the battlefield, watch all the plastics your foes use get ruined.

Good times


My intution tells me though that this smart young man is not really the first to make this discovery. I would bet that its being sat on because of the potential dangers. Imagine a weaponized version in the hands of terrorists, release a few microbes here and there and just wait for them to multiply to dangerous levels. The level of havoc this could cause would be off the scales.





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