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Plastic-Eating Fungi Found in the Amazon May Solve World’s Waste Problem. Go ethnobotany!

http://mashable.com/2012/03/07/plastic-eating-fungi/
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84 comments
 
Mushroom are declaring war on plastic!!
 
Isn't the whole reason we like plastic is because it DOESN'T corrode by the normal corrosion mechanisms?
 
Hmm Our world is plastic. This fungus will make no difference between an old plastic bottle and your laptop, car, plastic insulation in planes wiring (remember Kapton). I will propose a name for that fungus:
Pandora - http://bit.ly/JEZFtC
 
Good for the fungus, but we must stop using so much petrochemical plastic as we use today, otherwise we will have to cover the earth with the fungus
 
Life adapts, it always has, reminds me of nylon eating Flavobacterium.
 
New technological advances are here, My buddy has been working at Agilyx here in Oregon and they convert plastics into cured oil..
 
I dunno how good an idea this is, plastic is still quite valuable and increasingly so with the increase of crude oil price, the only reason we throw it away so easily is because it's still more expensive to recicle than to make more but that's about to change according to this guy: http://bit.ly/pizuvK
 
boom pollution from plastic solved
 
I also liked science when I was in school. alas I was a high school drop out. Yes bad move but ..still watch the science channel.
 
There was an old woman who swallowed a fly...
 
Nice! Just goes to show you that nature always finds a way! Its too bad though...once this info gets out people will just continue trashing the planet.
 
I wonder what this would do if released into one of the ocean gyres; particularly if some fiberglass sailer to expose his boat to it. ::snicker::
 
Another funny thought is the amount of fungi it would take to truly solve the problem! We may have a fungi problem on our hands after we solve the plastic problem! lol
 
That's true +Egor M. another reason to improve our production of alternative materials ... Also remember the oil could run out sooner, but the plastic is forever and we already have enough plastic waste to have working this fungus longer than we want as +Madjid Boukri showed
 
Right! Its quite amazing though how trash is man's creation and not nature's. Nature does not create waste that cannot be disposed of through natural means. I used to be pretty atheistic until I was enlightened with that bit of knowledge. Life is entirely too complex for it to just be the result of an accident (or Big Bang).
 
Doesn't this stuff exist on the space station, too?
 
Human-Eating Fungi Found in the Amazon May Solve World's Problems
 
+Karl Sturdivant II, that's pretty irrelevant. Listen, "Nature" isn't a magical panacea that will solve all the world's ills and just because something is synthetic, doesn't mean that it is bad for the world.

It's great that we found something that can break down plastics. Now, let's examine the side effects. What gasses are produced by the fungus during the breakdown process? Can we use the resultant materials? Can we remove the fungus if need be? Is there a way we can extract the process by which the fungus breaks down the plastics in order to separate the living/spreading creature from the useful process? Is the fungus hazardous to human or animal health? Is the fungus invasive, such as we found out Kudzo was after we imported it to solve soil erosion problems? What plants does this fungus attack? Are bees/other insects affected by this fungus?

Please, all of you going on about the beauty of nature, halt your enthusiasm with some thoughtful questioning and realize that nature produces things like this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvinia_molesta
 
McFLurrrrrrgggggggggaaaaaaaaannnnnnnn!!!!!!!!!!! : )
 
+Joe Gaspar It was just a comment and you cannot deny the truth that lies within it. Nature's ability to clean up after itself and after man is not irrelevant to this topic. Anyway, regardless of whether or not nature will solve the world's ills the simple fact that a partial solution to a major problem has been found within nature IS amazing. If we cannot see that then perhaps we need to look harder. This is a natural way of eliminating a synthetic problem. Sure we don't know all of the plus and minus yet but it is a start in the right direction.
 
Besides killing fish birds and floating for ever around the globe ....
Most Plastic Products Release Estrogenic Chemicals: http://bit.ly/K3dBgz
Estrogenic Activity in Commercial Food Packaging.pdf http://bit.ly/JlGUNy

And BPA safe not = EA safe.
 
Yay, now everything plastic can be eaten away. That sounds safe.
 
It might also cause a zombie apocalypse.
 
What if it mutates and starts eating all our stuff? You'd have clothe your iPads and whatnot in special prophylactic coverings made of natural materials and only use them in protected environments.
 
sometimes it is really gr8 to hear something hopeful...we had enough of the bad news
 
Or... geez, don't let it loose in my house!! There goes the clothes hanger, storage bins, cups and kennel tray... sheesh.
 
+Majid Yes, plastic releases chemicals, so imagine now what happens when you introduce something that breaks down plastics faster.

+Ethiopia Mother Yes, this is interesting, but talking about the negative side effects is what we like to call thinking scientifically. You can't just say, "Hey look at all these positives! Let's ignore the negatives!"
 
This is good news. Every time I shop and drop my purchases in their plastic shopping bags, I raise my fist and rue the god who didn't provide microorganisms to degrade these things. Feeling much better now.
 
Although i have recently herd from the guy who delivers Coca-Cola and we where talking about the Plastic bottles, from what he was telling me Coke's Plastic bottles are now made out of "Corn Syrup" and will eventually break down and go right back into the environment naturally! So the End will be moved forward a bit!
 
Don't know whether it's a good thing or a bad thing. Good because the fungi degrades plastic, bad because it will encourage our use of plastic
 
Google Science Fair is always interesting, even if it turns out that other scientist find the project is a total failiure :D
 
That would make such an amazing impact on our lives!!!! 
 
It's not a bad thing. If you read the article it says that they can only live solely on plastic if it is in an oxygen free environment. Therefore, I'm not gonna come home one day to find my computer covered in fungus. 
 
Shall we read the side effects first? Just asking.
 
now that news to my ears!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
Am I the only one that sees this guy inspecting a donger?
 
This might not be a good idea.
I have plastic that I don't want eaten!
 
Wait, we have a LOT of plastic stuff that doesn't need to be eaten? Like cars!
 
I heard about this stuff in a Nat. Geo magazine from about ten years ago
 
A real good news for a change in regard to the enviroment.
 
Think about all the great flora and fauna that could have produced society-altering changes. Except it may be too late because of perpetual deforestation...
 
What? Ethnicdiversity? I can't hear you over all the chainsaws and burning! D:
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