16yr Old Boy Discovers Microbe that Eats Plastic

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posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 11:16 AM
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What an awesome story. I mean, we have all been told for my whole life anyway, that plastics, would not breakdown, and fill our dumps for "x" years to come. and now...

"The preliminary results were encouraging, so he kept at it, selecting out the most effective strains and interbreeding them. After several weeks of tweaking and optimizing temperatures Burd was achieved a 43 % degradation of plastic in six weeks, an almost inconceivable accomplishment."

very promising indeed.




posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 11:44 AM
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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.

Probably won't ever happen. It would be quite amazing if scientists can engineer the microbes to have an optimum at those exact conditions.



posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 11:47 AM
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this boy is going to be rich. Before we get to serious about it though someon needs to get the paper work on this organism. Big companines will want to buy and and sell it to us for profit.



posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 11:49 AM
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Wow, very smart kid. There may be a down side to all of this though. I will do some digging for a link but the history channel had something on there about this very type of thing. Plastics of course take a very long time to biodegrade as we all know and they theorized that if a microbe was ever discovered that could break down plastics in a short time span it could also biodegrade every thing else including our planet in a very short span of time. I believe it is called the gray matter theory but I may be wrong of the name. I'm not trying to fear monger or put this kids discovery down I'm just adding to the conversation. I'll see if I can find a link for you guys. Peace.



posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 11:51 AM
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reply to post by Alaskan Man
 


can i ask?? what does it matter what this kid looks like??? it is obvious human behviour that you put that pic up to gain laughs, at his expense i may add!!

This kid has done more for our race than you ever could, hence the fact that you would do such an immature thing as put his pic here, i know that he is not the best looking of people, but that does not remove the fact that he has a brillaint mind, and any of you who are thinking " thats what i thought he would look like "... shame on you. stereotyping!!!!!!!! get a grip all of you!!!



posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 11:56 AM
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Now we have to revisit all the surgical plastics implanted in people.

There may be harmful byproducts of the microbes.



posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 11:56 AM
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Smart kid... less Xbox more learning.



posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 12:13 PM
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Originally posted by Helmkat
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.


There are chemicals that would be far more useful as a plastic-dissolving weapon. =)



posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 12:19 PM
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Originally posted by freeyourmind1111
Plastics of course take a very long time to biodegrade as we all know and they theorized that if a microbe was ever discovered that could break down plastics in a short time span it could also biodegrade every thing else including our planet in a very short span of time. I believe it is called the gray matter theory but I may be wrong of the name.


You might be thinking of Grey Goo, and that was with nanotech, not microbes.

This can be both a good and bad thing in ways.

Yes, out in the wild, will it start decomposing plastic indiscriminately? look around at all the plastic we use.

Then, when it comes to eating, what comes in eventually comes out.. if plastic goes in, what comes out? What does the bacteria poop out, for lack of a better term.

What else does/will it eat?



posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 12:21 PM
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This kid ain't that cool, I happen to have 2 very similar trophies myself....

anyone wanna start a thread about seattle's most inspired bartender 2007 AND 2009?



posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 12:32 PM
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reply to post by Alaskan Man
 


Star & Flag

This is great news

Alien Mind



posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 12:38 PM
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awesome. now i can watch my computer and monitor decompose before my very eyes.

the ultimate computer virus.

people need to stop already with the tinkering.



posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 12:45 PM
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1,000 years for plastic to decompose in general
..

No worries then really. in 1,000 years there wont be any plastic and his research will be of little importance. But good thinking nonetheless!

Lets hope he can move on to some real groundbreaking solutions.

[edit on 23-6-2009 by jvm222]



posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 12:51 PM
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reply to post by Alaskan Man
 


Uhh Ohh,..Science Fiction about to become science fact...anyone remember the book "Mutant 59 the Plastic Eaters"...now this is scary!



posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 12:54 PM
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reply to post by Alaskan Man
 


Actually, I don't think it will solve a problem.

How many microbes would have to be produced to destory and biodegrade decades of unfathomable amounts of plastic?


This also doesn't take care of the other environmental disasters, paper, wood, metals and whatever diapers are made out of. Oh, and foam.

To produced enough microbes to break down the plastic we have landfilled and that is swrilling around the oceans, would almost be an environmental disaster in itself.



posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 01:14 PM
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Originally posted by CoffinFeeder

Originally posted by freeyourmind1111
Plastics of course take a very long time to biodegrade as we all know and they theorized that if a microbe was ever discovered that could break down plastics in a short time span it could also biodegrade every thing else including our planet in a very short span of time. I believe it is called the gray matter theory but I may be wrong of the name.


You might be thinking of Grey Goo, and that was with nanotech, not microbes.

This can be both a good and bad thing in ways.

Yes, out in the wild, will it start decomposing plastic indiscriminately? look around at all the plastic we use.

Then, when it comes to eating, what comes in eventually comes out.. if plastic goes in, what comes out? What does the bacteria poop out, for lack of a better term.

What else does/will it eat?


You know what?You are right my friend,which makes my point invalid. Thanks for the correction. It's been so long since I saw the program I was having a hard time recalling the specifics about it. All of this is very interesting though. And what a smart kid.



posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 01:17 PM
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I can see it already someone grows a large batch of these things thinking they will make millions. Then a problem comes up of how to control them pops up. So since theres no rules on disbosal of this bacteria they just flush it down the toilet destroying the sewer system then getting into the water supply and destroy the pipes for water supply but not befor people wash things with the water cars, boats even your dishes and clothing with buttons and hello third world country.



posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 01:34 PM
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Originally posted by Free4Ever2
reply to post by Alaskan Man
 


can i ask?? what does it matter what this kid looks like??? it is obvious human behviour that you put that pic up to gain laughs, at his expense i may add!!

This kid has done more for our race than you ever could, hence the fact that you would do such an immature thing as put his pic here, i know that he is not the best looking of people, but that does not remove the fact that he has a brillaint mind, and any of you who are thinking " thats what i thought he would look like "... shame on you. stereotyping!!!!!!!! get a grip all of you!!!



wow, i honestly wasn't thinking that at all, its sad that you immediately went judgmental.

i didn't post the pic for people to "laugh at him" i did it so people could be amazed by a young man actually making a difference.


not to mention if YOU would have actually read the article, that picture was half way down the page.

please think before you fly off the handle bars again, its shameful.



posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 01:48 PM
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can anybody say "nobel prize"?



posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 02:03 PM
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So....all the recycling we're doing on plastics is now nil and void?!!
We'll just destroy it and make more!


hmmm...so in order to make more plastics, which is made from OIL, less recycle means more oil production... got it!!!





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