jm + plastic   3

Scientists accidentally create mutant enzyme that eats plastic bottles
Scientists have created a mutant enzyme that breaks down plastic drinks bottles – by accident. The breakthrough could help solve the global plastic pollution crisis by enabling for the first time the full recycling of bottles.

The new research was spurred by the discovery in 2016 of the first bacterium that had naturally evolved to eat plastic, at a waste dump in Japan. Scientists have now revealed the detailed structure of the crucial enzyme produced by the bug. The international team then tweaked the enzyme to see how it had evolved, but tests showed they had inadvertently made the molecule even better at breaking down the PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic used for soft drink bottles. “What actually turned out was we improved the enzyme, which was a bit of a shock,” said Prof John McGeehan, at the University of Portsmouth, UK, who led the research. “It’s great and a real finding.”
plastic  recycling  enzymes  science  mutants  pet  bottles  green 
5 weeks ago by jm
In first, 3-D printed objects connect to WiFi without electronics
This. is. magic.

Physical motion—pushing a button, laundry soap flowing out of a bottle, turning a knob, removing a hammer from a weighted tool bench—triggers gears and springs elsewhere in the 3-D printed object that cause a conductive switch to intermittently connect or disconnect with the antenna and change its reflective state. Information—in the form of 1s and 0s—is encoded by the presence or absence of the tooth on a gear. Energy from a coiled spring drives the gear system, and the width and pattern of gear teeth control how long the backscatter switch makes contact with the antenna, creating patterns of reflected signals that can be decoded by a WiFi receiver.
magic  wifi  whoa  3d-printing  objects  plastic  gears  springs 
december 2017 by jm
Make Your Own 3-D Printer Filament From Old Milk Jugs
Creating your own 3-D printer filament from old used milk jugs is exponentially cheaper, and uses considerably less energy, than buying new filament, according to new research from Michigan Technological University. [...] The savings are really quite impressive — 99 cents on the dollar, in addition to the reduced use of energy. Interestingly (but again not surprisingly), the amount of energy used to ‘recycle’ the old milk jugs yourself is considerably less than that used in recycling such jugs conventionally.
recycling  3d-printers  printing  tech  plastic  milk 
march 2014 by jm

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