Tuesday January 22, 2019
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Scientists Coax The Plastic-Eating Enzyme For More Efficiency

Scientists pet the plastic-eating enzyme for its better performance

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A scientist working with a microscope.
Scientist. Pixabay

Written By Vaishali Aggarwal

Scientists in Britain and the United States say they have engineered a plastic-eating enzyme that could help in the fight against pollution. The enzyme is able to digest polyethylene terephthalate, or PET — a form of plastic patented in the 1940s and now used in millions of tons of plastic bottles. PET plastics can persist for hundreds of years in the environment and currently pollute large areas of land and sea worldwide.

According to VOA, “Recently, the world was stunned to learn that an island of mostly plastic trash, floating in the Pacific Ocean, grew to the size of France, Germany and Spain combined. Because plastics take centuries to decompose, could civilization someday choke in it? Scientists at Britain’s University of Portsmouth say they may have found a way to speed up the decomposition of plastics”.

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Speakers To Be Reviewed Before Presentation At Indian Scientific Gathering

This is very harmful for the growth of scientific temper because these ideas are being propagated through the Science Congress which gives it reproducibility

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India, scientists
People hold placards to protest claims made by speakers, discrediting theories of Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein, at the 106th Indian Science Congress in Kolkata, India, Jan. 7, 2019. VOA

A group representing Indian scientists say they will screen speakers at their yearly meeting more carefully after several made outlandish claims during their lectures.

“We have decided that all the people, even the top scientists who want to interact with anybody at the Science Congress, would be asked to submit their abstracts, not to deviate … and we will place one of our members there as a moderator,” Indian Science Congress general secretary Premendu Mathur said Monday.

One speaker at the just-completed congress doubted the findings and achievements of Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton and Stephen Hawking.

scientists
 The placard reads: “A country without science, research and education is a country dependent.” (VOA)

Another insisted the people of ancient India had airplanes and missile technology, carried out stem-cell research, and created test tube babies.

Scientists in several Indian cities held silent demonstrations and carried signs to protest the speeches and the damage that such claims can do.

Also Read: Women in Science Largest Minority: Smriti Irani

“This is very harmful for the growth of scientific temper because these ideas are being propagated through the Science Congress which gives it reproducibility,” retired professor Dhruba Mukhopadhyay said. (VOA)