Tuesday, 17 April 2018
News that scientists at Portsmouth have 'accidentally' produced an enzyme that breaks down certain plastics has been greeted with great excitement (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/16/scientists-accidentally-create-mutant-enzyme-that-eats-plastic-bottles). The enzyme was extracted from tip-dwelling bacteria before having its potency to break down plastic bottles increased some 20% (leading the scientists to speculate that the 'eating efficiency' can be further increased by changing in the protein molecule). The idea seems to be that the bottles can be converted to the materials that could be recombined to make new plastics (reducing the needs to extract more hydrocarbons to synthesise these items). The resulting technology may well become commercially viable but will not, I think, 'solve' the plastics problem. I am not very enthusiastic about the suggestion that it could be sprayed on plastic contaminated areas of the oceans.
Visited , in Loughor, by a slightly battered Swallowtailed moth ( Ourapteryx sambucaria ).
A combination of night rain and day-time sun has resulted in more Bynea blooms. The Southern marsh orchid ( Dactylorhiza praetermissa...
A report has detailed how climate change is altering life in the warming seas around UK shores ( https://www.theguardian.com/environment...
There is intense interest surrounding a first study outside China, demonstrating that the widely-available CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool...