Worms eating plastic

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Beer w/Straw, Apr 26, 2017.

  1. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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  5. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    An indication of what is probably assumed anyway, that the bacteria involved are the real prize: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25384056

    These other worms don't do as good or fast a job, and such bacterial strains are likely to be species specific anyway - so it's the latest species of wax worm that is most exciting, for its likelihood of harboring superior bacterial flora (fauna?).

    We don't want to breed billions of the moths themselves, or their larvae - they trash honeybee hives, and there's too much of that going on in the world as is.

    Oddly, this latest discovery appears to have been accidental. Apparently some people have known for years now that some species of wax worm harbor bacteria that eat polyethylene - but the rest of the species were not immediately checked? The word didn't get around, even in the thin world of wax worm and bee research?
     
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  7. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    I think some researches have genetically engineered bacteria to break down plastic, however, it proved expensive.
     
  8. karenmansker HSIRI Banned

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    I had some summer field experience in the Michgan UP several years ago, during which we observed that grasshoppers were devouring the plastic (yellow and orange) flagging attached to our survey stakes. We concluded that since insects tend to see targets (food and other) best in UV - as per similar conclusions re: flower colors - the little buggers were likely seeing the plastic flagging as a food source. I guess one might say certain colored plastics are a a good weight-loss diet for grasshoppers.
     
  9. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    Does the finding was digestion on bees wax ? Beeswax in a diester which is not to difficult to break down , which to different then polyethylene.
     
  10. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    The flip side: it's a hard trick to learn or do, but it's possible - the first to swing it will be in fat city, and Western civilization will be in big trouble. My money is on a modified lichen.
     
  11. geordief Registered Senior Member

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    Why? What do you think might be be some immediate consequences?
     
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Of a fast reproducing and aerosol spreading organism learning to eat plastic? Oh, I dunno - just get a feeling of likely doom.
     
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  13. geordief Registered Senior Member

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    perforated condoms?

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