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Yale Students Discover Rare Plastic-Eating Fungus in the Ecuadorian Rainforest

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posted on Apr, 2 2013 @ 09:37 AM

Plastics represent one of the biggest waste problems in the world because they take a really, really long time to break down. But a recent discovery by a group of Yale students could help speed the process. On an expedition to the rainforest of Ecuador, students from Yale’s Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry discovered a previously unknown fungus that has a healthy appetite for polyurethane.

Sounds like a good news for the environment. Who knows, maybe soon we will be able to get rid of all these islandfuls of waste

posted on Apr, 2 2013 @ 09:42 AM
I recall many years ago while still in school reading a few papers on some plastic digesting bacteria, molds and fungus both naturally occurring and man-mutated in labs along with grand promises for waste management and the environment. As far as I know in all those years nothing has come of it in any useful capacities.

Maybe this time it'll be different?

posted on Apr, 2 2013 @ 09:43 AM
reply to post by Cabin

You might find that this has already been covered here in February 2012 :

Although, it would be good to know how things are going with this fungus and if any progress has been made in studies.

Kindest respects


posted on Apr, 2 2013 @ 09:44 AM
This is old news.

In 2003 they found a fungus eating cd's.

Researchers in Spain have found a yeast, Geotrichum candidum, that can eat holes in compact discs (CDs) and destroy data stored on them. The discovery stemmed from a trip to Belize by a Madrid National Museum of Natural Sciences employee.

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