Researchers Engineer an Enzyme that Eats Plastic Waste

Following similar developments in England and France, a team of scientists at The University of Texas at Austin created an enzyme variant that breaks down plastic with the potential to eliminate billions of tons of landfill. The enzyme—dubbed FAST-PETase—targets polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a polymer found in consumer packaging that makes up 12% of global waste. Researchers used a machine learning model to generate mutations of a …

NASA Renames Headquarters After Mary Jackson, Their First Black Woman Engineer

NASA has renamed its Washington, DC headquarters after the brilliant, late Mary Jackson—the first black woman engineer at the space agency. She worked at NASA, in various positions, from 1951 through 1985 and her building is located on the recently renamed Hidden Figures Way (named for the film that highlighted Jackson’s work, along with mathematicians Katherine Johnson and Dorothy Vaughan). While it’s been some 15 …