Hawaii bobtail squared Image: Chris Frazee and Margaret McFall-Ngai
Plastic pollution is devastating the oceans by poisoning animals and polluting marine environments, but scientists believe that the seas can also have a solution to the problem – the squid's tent.
Squid has evolved complex proteins in the suckling cup cavities that run their tents. The proteins are used to build the squid's circular teeth (SRT), a spiky cycle of a suction inside biopolymer that allows the animals to understand prey.
University scientists Penn Penn Abdon Pena-Francesch and Melik Demirel think SRT engineering could be one that is suitable to produce promising biodegradable plastics.
Concept art of teeth call squid. Image: ACS
Fortunately, that would not mean the harvesting of innocent shrimp for their toothpaste. In a study published Thursday at Boundaries in Chemistry, the team describes how bacteria are like E. coli it can be engineered genetically to produce industrial quantities of the special proteins that make SRT so flexible, strong, and eco-friendly.
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The unique molecular properties of the material are derived from mutual refusal composites. This separation produces complex molecular structures that range from leaflets that have been planted with mandatory flats for tangible lubricants of material.
Due to its flexibility, synthetic SRT could be integrated into textile materials so that there was less synthetic fiber to the washing machine, which is a major surprise source of the plastic plastics of the sea. It could also be used to create protective films or lines that could be worn to protect against chemical and biological war, according to the team.
"Square proteins can be used to produce next generation materials for a variety of areas, including energy and biomass, as well as the security and protection sector," says Demirel.
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