Frederica Bertocchini has made groundbreaking discoveries in the field of plastic degradation using biological systems. The wax worms, Galleria mellonella, are at the forefront of this research, capable of degrading sturdy synthetic polymers like PE and PS. Bertocchini’s lab discovered that the liquid from the larvae’s buccal cavity, termed as “saliva,” plays a pivotal role in oxidizing and depolymerizing PE. Two enzymes, Demetra and Ceres, found in the wax worm’s saliva, are responsible for this degradation process. She stated, “Plastics are synthetic molecules derived from fossil fuels and largely resistant to degradation.” Highlighting the rapid growth of this industry, she … Continue reading Wax Worms: Nature’s Answer to the Plastic Crisis?