The Amazon Pink Dolphin’s Voice: Fungi to save world from environmental catastrophe? and Amazing fungus can consume discarded plastic.

Fungi to save world from environmental catastrophe?

 London: Scientists say they have found a “plastic-eating” fungi in the Amazon rainforest, which they claim could save the world from one of its biggest man-made environmental catastrophe.

A team at Yale University says that the fungus in the Amazon rainforest can break down common plastic polyurethane.

One of the most widely used plastics, the global consumption of polyurethane raw materials in 2007 was above 12 million tons, with an average annual growth rate in its use of about five per cent.

As part of Yale’s Rainforest Expedition and Laboratory educational programme, the researchers scoured the Ecuadorian rainforest for plants and cultured the micro-organisms within their tissue, the ‘Daily Mail’ reported.

The scientists said: “Endophytes were isolated from plant stems collected in the Ecuadorian rainforest. A subset of these organisms was screened for their ability to degrade polyurethane.

Source: ZEENEWS.com

Amazing fungus can consume discarded plastic

Researchers have discovered a fungus in the Amazon rainforest that can break down the common plastic polyurethane, used in billions of discarded plastic bottles.

Their pile-up, amounting to one billion tonnes since 1950s, is threatening to choke many of the eco systems so vital for survival of life. The synthetic material, derived from petrochemicals, degrades very slowly because of its complex chemical bonds.

One of the most widely used plastics, the global consumption of polyurethane raw materials in 2007 was above 12 million tons, with an average annual growth rate in its use of about five percent, the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology reports.

Researchers from Yale University, Connecticut’s Rainforest Expedition and lab educational programme, scoured the Ecuadorian rainforest for plants and cultured the micro-organisms within their tissue, according to the Daily Mail.

“Endophytes were isolated from plant stems collected in the Ecuadorian rainforest. A subset of these organisms was screened for their ability to degrade polyurethane,” the researchers said.

Endophytes are micro-organisms that live within the inner tissues of plants, but do not cause any noticeable disease symptoms in their hosts. They often play a key role in the decomposition of the plants after death, but never before have they been tested for their ability to degrade synthetic materials.

The authors of the study hold out hope that further exploration of properties of endophytes could reveal more miracle metabolisers that could potentially be used to degrade other kinds of plastics.

Source: Khaleej Times

SELVA Vida Sin Fronteras acknowledges Kevin Schafer’s important contribution towards protecting the highly endangered Amazon pink fresh water dolphin. Title photographs of our “The Amazon Pink Dolphin’s Voice” were taken by Mr. Schafer. 

 Editorial: Selvavidasinfronteras.org

Selvavidasinfronteras.wordpress.com

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~ by FSVSF Admin on 21 May, 2012.

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