#1


Mushrooms eating plastic, will we be seeing them in landfills shortly?

Link: http://www.fastcoexist.com/1679201/fungi-discovered-in-the-amazon-will-eat-your-plastic

Quote by website

The Amazon is home to more species than almost anywhere else on earth. One of them, carried home recently by a group from Yale University, appears to be quite happy eating plastic in airless landfills.

The group of students, part of Yale’s annual Rainforest Expedition and Laboratory with molecular biochemistry professor Scott Strobel, ventured to the jungles of Ecuador. The mission was to allow "students to experience the scientific inquiry process in a comprehensive and creative way." The group searched for plants, and then cultured the microorganisms within the plant tissue. As it turns out, they brought back a fungus new to science with a voracious appetite for a global waste problem: polyurethane.

The common plastic is used for everything from garden hoses to shoes and truck seats. Once it gets into the trash stream, it persists for generations. Anyone alive today is assured that their old garden hoses and other polyurethane trash will still be here to greet his or her great, great grandchildren. Unless something eats it.

The fungi, Pestalotiopsis microspora, is the first anyone has found to survive on a steady diet of polyurethane alone and--even more surprising--do this in an anaerobic (oxygen-free) environment that is close to the condition at the bottom of a landfill.

Student Pria Anand recorded the microbe’s remarkable behavior and Jonathan Russell isolated the enzymes that allow the organism to degrade plastic as its food source. The Yale team published their findings in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology late last year concluding the microbe is "a promising source of biodiversity from which to screen for metabolic properties useful for bioremediation." In the future, our trash compactors may simply be giant fields of voracious fungi.

Who knows what the students in the rainforest will turn up next?
#3
Inb4 the fungus spreads and starts eating up all the plastic around us and it becomes a huge trillion dollar a year problem.
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#4
I don't get your thread title. Does that mean that outside of Soviet Russia plastic normally eats mushrooms?
#5
Quote by devourke
I don't get your thread title. Does that mean that outside of Soviet Russia plastic normally eats mushrooms?


That's exactly what it means.

Quote by devourke
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#8
I thought this was about the online amazon store. I was very confused.

But that's pretty cool
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#10
^Yeah I bet they have pestalotiopsis microsporaves all the time

EDIT: @ Whoomit

EDIT2:
Quote by vicarious46
So basically if the gov't decides to grow a bunch of these fungi on top of landfills full of plastic they will eat all the plastic and no longer will that be a problem?

That's actually really cool

And then we can get fat people to eat the mushrooms
Last edited by devourke at Jan 31, 2012,
#12
Quote by SkepsisMetal
I'm not made of polyurethane.

I'm okay with this.


This.
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#13
So basically if the gov't decides to grow a bunch of these fungi on top of landfills full of plastic they will eat all the plastic and no longer will that be a problem?

That's actually really cool
Quote by ErikLensherr
Don't belittle it like that, your mom produces top quality stuff.



C4C
[thread="1339859"]Hammerhead[/thread]
[thread="1341152"]Anglerfish[/thread]

VOTE
Thrustor: 2012
#14
Quote by devourke
^Yeah I bet they have pestalotiopsis microsporaves all the time

EDIT: @ Whoomit

Eumycota be kidding me.


Pretty sure that was even worse than yours

Anyway welcome back
#16
Quote by devourke
^Yeah I bet they have pestalotiopsis microsporaves all the time

EDIT: @ Whoomit

EDIT2:
And then we can get fat people to eat the mushrooms


They'd probably be healthy for 'em?

I just told my friend about this and he suggested we cross these with a venus fly-trap...

Imagine how badass it would be to have a plastic-eating venus flytrap. Bitches would be like 'ooooh omg hes like so sensitive and cares for the environment' and bros would be like 'that's pretty bro'
Quote by ErikLensherr
Don't belittle it like that, your mom produces top quality stuff.



C4C
[thread="1339859"]Hammerhead[/thread]
[thread="1341152"]Anglerfish[/thread]

VOTE
Thrustor: 2012
#17
Quote by whoomit
Eumycota be kidding me.


Pretty sure that was even worse than yours

Anyway welcome back

ty bro.

Quote by vicarious46
They'd probably be healthy for 'em?

I just told my friend about this and he suggested we cross these with a venus fly-trap...

Imagine how badass it would be to have a plastic-eating venus flytrap. Bitches would be like 'ooooh omg hes like so sensitive and cares for the environment' and bros would be like 'that's pretty bro'

Could create a whole ecosystem of fat people, plastic and mushrooms.

We'll call it Mississipi
#18
Quote by SkepsisMetal
I'm not made of polyurethane.

I'm okay with this.
What if you get a plastic hip or something? Then what? You people never think your answers through.
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#19
They're going to eat all my plectrums!!!


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#20
Oh you guys. I really think this could be big though!! Solve alot of waste problems.

Although I thought the same thing about the Plastic to gas machine, and its pretty well disappeared from the headlines.
#21
Quote by devourke
And then we can get fat people to eat the mushrooms

There once was an old lady who swallowed a fly...
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Be subtle with it. Don't like molest him.

And cup his balls.


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#22
Quote by shavorules42
There once was an old lady who swallowed a fly...

...Amanita? Agaric?

What? WHAT!?


WHAT DID SHE SWALLOW!?!?
#24
Once the mushrooms spread like wild fire you all will be dead.

I for one welcome our new fungi overlords.
Bass is my life.
#26
sounds awesome, lets just hope people don't exploit the hell out of it.... though we know they will anyway...

I wonder if they can be eaten as well...
VERY METAL!
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#27
I'd love to put some on an old childhood toy and slowly watch it be devoured.
#28
Quote by vicarious46

I just told my friend about this and he suggested we cross these with a venus fly-trap...

1. Harvest genes of both plants
2. Create hybrid plant through genetic engineering
3. Replace trash cans with these plants
4. ????
5. Profit
#29
Quote by Kensai
Inb4 the fungus spreads and starts eating up all the plastic around us and it becomes a huge trillion dollar a year problem.



I work with fungus. It's very unlikely to ever spread quite so quickly, and there are ways to kill most fungi pretty quickly. Definitely think it would do more good than bad, unless they find the by-products are environmentally harmful or something. I wish I was working on something so exciting.
#30
Venus fly traps are actually a billion dollar idea; the spores can't spread as easy and plants that are misplaced can be easily uprooted and transplanted
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#31
I know this kid who will eat plastic for $1 per square inch. icanhazsciencemedalnow?
#DTWD
#32
Quote by bastards
Venus fly traps are actually a billion dollar idea; the spores can't spread as easy and plants that are misplaced can be easily uprooted and transplanted



They're also extremely difficult to grow in most environments and don't consume enough to be enough worthwhile realistically. A fun idea, regardless