Monday, July 22, 2024

Scientists Have Discovered A Bacteria That Hitches a Ride on Plastic To Move Around

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Scientists from Newcastle University in the UK have discovered new bacteria that seem to love deep-sea plastics.

The newly discovered bacteria attaches itself to plastics which, researchers theorize, allows the bacteria to spread across the ocean.

The team used a deep-sea vehicle to conduct the experiments in the depths of the Northeast Atlantic. The researchers sank two types of plastics — polyurethane and polystyrene — which they then retrieved and studied for bacterial activity. The scientists theorize that a certain feature of the bacteria allows them to become connected with other deep ocean areas.

Bacteria attach themselves to plastic (Image credit: Max Kelly, Paul Whitworth, Alan Jamieson, J. Grant Burgess)
Bacteria attach themselves to plastic (Image credit: Max Kelly, Paul Whitworth, Alan Jamieson, J. Grant Burgess)

The study was led by Max Kelly, a Ph.D. student at Newcastle University’s School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, who stated:

“The deep sea is the largest ecosystem on earth and likely a final sink for the vast majority of plastic that enters the marine environment, but it is a challenging place to study. Combining deep-sea experts, engineers, and marine microbiologists, our team is helping to elucidate the bacterial community that can to stick to plastic to reveal the final fate of deep-sea plastic.”

You can find the original study here.

Sam Helmy
Sam Helmyhttps://www.deeperblue.com
Sam Helmy is a TDI/SDI Instructor Trainer, and PADI Staff and Trimix Instructor. Diving for 28 years, a dive pro for 14, I have traveled extensively chasing my passion for diving. I am passionate about everything diving, with a keen interest in exploration, Sharks and big stuff, Photography and Decompression theory. Diving is definitely the one and only passion that has stayed with me my whole life! Sam is a Staff Writer for DeeperBlue.com

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