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Sunday, February 5, 2023

These Plastic-Chomping Caterpillars Can Help Fight Pollution

The tiny waxworm went from zero to hero in 2017 when researchers discovered the caterpillar could potentially help solve one of the world’s most pressing environmental problems: plastic waste.

The creature can chomp through plastic, even polyethylene, a common and non-biodegradable plastic currently clogging up landfills and seas.

Now scientists have a much better understanding of how the grub is able to do this — and it comes down to its gut bacteria or microbiome. The findings, which were published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B Tuesday, could guide efforts to find an effective biodegradation system to tackle plastic waste.

Read more at CNN

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