Can sperm replace plastic? China is studying it

(KXAN) – Some tiny swimmers could soon help the world use less plastic.

Researchers in China have successfully built a cup, grafts and a DNA molecule using a gel formulation containing salmon sperm. French network Euronews ‘focused on the environment euronews.green Scientists have fused two strands of salmon sperm DNA together using a chemical found in vegetable oil.

Euronews says the material turns into a “pressurized material known as a hydrogel”.

The research team is led by Dayong Yang at Tianjin University. The researchers say their DNA-based alternative plastic produces 97% less carbon emissions than conventional plastics – they can even be made into other products by dipping them in water , which turns them back into gels.

But the recyclability of the gel is now problematic, as its absorption is locked when wet. Research around this issue is ongoing.

Plastic problem

According to a report by Bennington College and Beyond Plastics, the plastic industry generates about 232 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year. detailed by Reuters.

This is equivalent to 116 coal power plants, the report said. Emissions from plastic are expected to surpass those of the coal industry by 2030. The Department of Energy projects The US will also release 20 times more ethane from plastic production to 2025.

Besides, Pew Charity Foundation Research and policy organizations estimate that around 11 million tons of plastic enter the Earth’s oceans each year. And that number is expected to be close to TRIPLE by 2040 unless major actions are taken, according to the team’s peer-reviewed research.Break the plastic wave. ”

“…There is practically no natural process that can degrade plastic back into the ecosystem,” said Winnie Lau, senior manager of Pew’s ocean plastics program and lead author of the study. “Some people say that plastic can break down after a few hundred years – but we don’t know, because we haven’t lived with plastic that long. It will stay with us, maybe forever.”

According to Pew, 90% of plastic is used only once. And although 71% of the plastic generated is collected, less than 15% of it is actually recycled.

For ideas on how to reduce your own and your area’s plastic pollution, visit Plastic Pollution Coalition.

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