Could unlocking the mystery of the mealworm's gut help solve our plastic crisis?



(CNN)Can't stomach the plastic pollution that washes up on beaches, kills sea life and makes its way into the food chain? Well mealworms can -- literally. Growing to more than 2cm long, mealworms are the larval stage of the mealworm beetle. Scientists have known for some time now about their ability to eat certain plastics, and researchers are now learning more about what's going on inside mealworms and replicating the process outside them. It takes around 3,000 to 4,000 mealworms about a week to eat one Styrofoam coffee cup, and it's the bacteria living in their guts that break down the plastic, says Anja Malawi Brandon, a PhD candidate at Stanford University researching the subject. When...

Full Article