09 April 2020: A plastic-recycling enzyme, and supercooled molecules

This week, a new enzyme speeds up the breakdown of plastic bottles, and a method to cool molecules to a fraction above absolute zero.

In this episode:

01:18 A PET recycling enzyme

Researchers have engineered an enzyme that effectively breaks down the plastic PET into its constituent monomers. This could allow for more complete recycling of bottles and clothes. Research Article: Tournier et al.

06:41 Research Highlights

The shocking lengths humans will go to to satisfy their curiosity, and the reasons for elevated methane emissions at Oktoberfest. Research Highlight: Humans opt to brave electric shock to satisfy their curiosity; Research Highlight: Munich’s Oktoberfest is a real gas

09:15 Supercool molecules

Researchers have used a technique called ‘collision cooling’ to chill molecules to a few millionths of a degree above absolute zero, which could allow observations of difficult-to-study quantum mechanics. Research Article: Son et al.

14:46 Research Highlights

Neither supermassive, nor super small, the mystery of the elusive intermediate sized black-hole has been solved. Research Highlight: Elusive middle-weight black hole is caught shredding a star

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