Mutant Enzyme Breaks Down Plastic in Hours

New research published by French scientists in the journal Nature addresses their discovery and manipulation of a mutant bacterial enzyme that can break down PET plastic into raw materials in a matter of hours. After optimization experiments, Carbios (the organization behind the discovery) broke down one metric ton of waste by 90% in 10 hours. Their scientists then used that material to create new premium plastic …

The Tangled History of the Letter X

As porn consumption reaches what may be an all-time peak, MEL Magazine writer Chris Bourn wondered “How did X become the edgiest letter?” The 24th letter in our alphabet is the second-least used, but has come to represent all things “adult” and is intrinsically connected to porn. This can be traced back to the introduction of 1968’s audience-advisory ratings, which attributed X to movies with …

Portrait of a Goddess Found in a 3,000-Year-Old Coffin

Inside 3,000-year-old mummy Ta-Kr-Hb’s coffin (which hadn’t been moved or surveyed in a century) archaeologists from Scotland’s Perth Museum and Art Gallery uncovered a stunning series of paintings she was buried with. These two new paintings are located on the lower part of the coffin’s interior and exterior, a place that conservators and archaeologists never investigated before. “We had never had a reason to lift …