Mushrooms are amazing; we owe our lives to these amazing organisms. Mushrooms hold our topsoil together, help us sequester CO2, feed us, and offer a wide array of uses from food to medicine to manufacturing. A team of scientists at Yale have found a species that can eat plastic. This should have made major headlines, it’s the best news I’ve heard for our planet in a long time. I had to share.
Check out the article from Yale Alumni Magazine here. It describes a trip to the jungles of Ecuador where biological samples were collected. One of them was a fungus they identified as estalotiopsis microspora. Once back at the lab, the fungus was isolated and seemed to have a healthy appetite for polyurethane even when fed that exclusively.
We’ve all heard of polyurethane, but what are common items made from it? It combines the properties of rubber and plastic, so it’s uses are many (from Wikipedia): Continue reading