Inspirational appetizers on remarkable startups, emerging trends and bleeding-edge research

Ravenous gain


Any port in a storm, and climate change is becoming a cyclone.

Fish waste can be turned into sustainable plastic, displays made compostable.

But what about scrap metal? Well, a resourceful researcher from Chile has discovered that certain non-harmful bacteria consume it.

The microorganisms, known as Leptospirillum, are used to inhospitable environments, and live in acidic geysers at 4,200 meters altitude.

At first the bacteria took two months to ‘eat’ a nail. Experiments conducted over two years, however, showed that, when starved, their appetite increased.

The result: nail gone in three days, leaving behind a liquid residue which can be used to extract copper from rock without the need for chemicals.

Her startup should whet the appetite of mining companies.

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