The Funguses Among Us

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Scientists are studying whether or not plastic-eating mushrooms can save us from ourselves.

Plastic trash is a huge problem in our world, especially in the ocean where massive collections of marine trash have created an island-like vortex.

Scientists have discovered that some mushrooms that can eat plastic! They grow on polyurethane, the main ingredient in plastic, and use it as its sole carbon source to break it down and digest it and turn it into organic matter. In some shrooms, the process takes about two weeks.

This process is known as mycroremediation, the natural process that fungi use to degrade or isolate contaminants in the environment. Some researchers even say that humans can still eat the mushrooms after the mushrooms eat the plastic. I’m not ready to try that on my pizza just yet!



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