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 Lightest Form Of Water Yet Discovered: Gel-like Ice

It may come as a surprise to most that there’s not just one type of ice. In fact, there are 17—varying substantially in structure and weight—and an 18th “in development.” Only two types appear naturally on Earth, the common hexagonal version and upper-atmosphere cubic ice, but scientists have been able to produce “a type of porous, lightweight ‘aeroice’” according to New Scientist. Pressure causes variations …

Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Data for cash, the world's first paper snowboard, reviving the extinct passenger pigeon and more in our weekly look at the web

1. Design & Fiction: Panel Discussion Bringing together heavy hitters across numerous industries, the IDEO-hosted panel Design & Fiction explored the relationship between technology, design and fiction—all in the context of the past, future and present. The breadth of the presentations is now available for viewing, though listening does the trick for the most part. A memorable quote to get you started: “We seem to …