In 2016 scientists stumbled across a sludge that seemed to feed on plastics, at a recycling plant in Kyoto, Japan. After some study, they have determined the ability stems from a novel enzyme, Petase, that is somehow able to break down the polymers. Numerical modeling from Univ South Florida (usf.edu) helped in understanding this enzyme. Genetically, this enzyme is related and derived from an enzyme nature has had for quite some time, that is able to break down waxes.
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