10 May 2022

Scientists Create Enzyme that Breaks Down Plastic in Days Instead of Centuries

Scientists Create Enzyme that Breaks Down Plastic in Days Instead of Centuries

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In a groundbreaking research, scientists at the University of Texas, Austin, have developed a modulated enzyme which will facilitate the breakdown of plastic in just mere days as opposed to hundreds of years.

According to Vice World News, researchers employed the use of machine learning to access mutations that aided them in constructing a rapid-acting protein that can disintegrate the elements of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) through the process of depolymerization. PET, which is used in clothing and plastic, comprises 12% of global waste.

The enzyme, which is known as FAST-PETase for “functional, active, stable, and tolerant PETase”, is a major product of machine learning, reported Vice World News.

The study, which was published last week in the peer-reviewed journal Nature, contributes to an existing probe into the matter of plastic-consuming enzymes which was first reported in 2005, noting that 19 different enzymes have been discovered since.