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Scientists in Britain and the United States say they have engineered a plastic-eating enzyme that could help in the fight against pollution. The enzyme is able to digest polyethylene terephthalate, or PET – a form of plastic patented in the 1940s and now used in millions of tons of plastic bottles. This led to a serendipitous change in the enzyme's actions – allowing its plastic-eating abilities to work faster.The team, whose finding was published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, is now working on improving the enzyme further to see if they can make it capable of breaking down PET plastics on an industrial scale.
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