Weekly and Monthly Newsletter

Humans Are the Unwitting Test Subjects in a Worldwide Experiment on Microplastics

Much of the hundreds of millions of tons of plastic waste in our oceans is made up of microplastics. These are defined as plastic beads, fibers or fragments with a diameter of less than five thousand micrometers (μm), equal to one-half centimeter. Nanoplastics are thousands of times tinier, with a diameter of less than 0.1 μm, and are also likely to be widely present. By comparison, a human hair ranges from about 15 to 180 μm across. Some of these microplastics are deliberately engineered like microbeads in a facial scrub. Others result from the break down of larger plastic items.

How could designer proteins thwart cancer?

“Our laboratory designed proteins that, for the first time, can actually recognise the single-stranded DNA and bind it. We can basically program these proteins to target them,” he notes. In doing this, the team managed to disrupt the molecular mechanism that cancer would “hijack” in order to fuel the uncontrolled, and thus harmful, growth of cells.

Pin It on Pinterest