Scientists Create Protein that Breaks Down Plastic

Plastic is ubiquitous. Water bottles, bags, food containers. It’s become a massive problem for the planet, for animals, for humans. Now, there might be some hope, a way to break it down before it takes over completely.

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Scientists Create Protein that Breaks Down Plastic | Definition Match

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Full text:

A “Pac-Man” protein that gobbles up plastic and breaks it down could open the door to eliminating billions of tons of landfill waste. The enzyme destroys PET, which, in addition to accounting for 12% of all global waste, is ubiquitous in food and drink packaging as well as textiles.

The protein offers hope for solving global pollution by supercharging large scale recycling. Major industries would be able to recover and reuse products at the molecular level.

The enzyme reduces them into smaller parts—chemicals which can then be reassembled. In some cases, the plastics can be fully broken down in as little as 24 hours.

Artificial intelligence, machine learning, generated novel mutations to a natural enzyme called PETase that allows bacteria to degrade PET.

Experiments proved the effectiveness of the enzyme named “FAST-PETase” (Functional, Active, Stable and Tolerant PETase). Other alternative industrial processes for breaking down plastic are energy-intensive, but biological solutions, like this one, require much less.

Research on enzymes for plastic recycling has advanced during the past 15 years. However, no one had been able to figure out how to make enzymes that could operate efficiently at low temperatures to make them both portable and affordable at large industrial scale—until now.

US Life Expectancy Continues to Drop – Learn English with the News

Life expectancy varies around the world, but the US is unique among western countries due to its having the lowest life expectancy among them. It was already low before the COVID-19 pandemic, but it has since dropped even more.

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The news is a consistent source of entertainment, knowledge and discovery that never ceases to exist and always comes out with more and more material each day. Because it plays such a vital part in our lives and is so important to keep up with, it is without a doubt a piece of your everyday routine that can’t go ignored.

Whether it is to understand the ramifications of recent legislation passed, to hear about recent events and grasp the potential consequences to your country, or simply hear about what is happening in other countries in order to compare them to what’s happening in yours, the news is certainly a staple in our lives and the most consistent way to get information.

This is why Scrambled Eggs has decided to unite two of your biggest worlds: learning English and keeping up with what is happening in the world. We hope our challenging daily exercises, composed of listening, vocabulary and comprehension exercises in English, will satisfy both of those above worlds in a satisfactory and also entertaining way.

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US Life Expectancy Continues to Drop | Definition Match

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Full text:

Life expectancy in the United States dropped again in 2021, furthering a dramatic decline from 2020 that was the largest since World War II, according to a new report.
The study (which has not yet been peer-reviewed) found that after falling nearly 1.9 years in 2020, life expectancy in the US decreased another 0.4 years in 2021 as Covid-19 continued to spread.
In the decade before the pandemic, life expectancy in the US changed by an average of less than 0.1 years annually, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Changes to life expectancy amid the Covid-19 pandemic widened an existing gap between the US and other high-income countries, the new report shows. Among a set of 19 peer countries, life expectancy dropped only a third as much as in the US in 2020 (down 0.6 years, on average) and rebounded in 2021, with an average increase of about 0.3 years.
Life expectancy in the US fell from 78.9 years in 2019 to 76.6 years in 2021 — now more than five years less than the average among peer nations.
In the US, there was a disproportionate decrease in life expectancy for Black and Hispanic people in 2020. But in 2021, White people had the largest losses, with life expectancy holding steady for Hispanic people and rising slightly for Black people.

Mark Zuckerberg Called Eye of Sauron by Employees – Learn English with the News

Mark Zuckerberg hasn’t always had a great reputation between the general public and his employees. Over the years everyone has come up with interesting nicknames for him, but this one takes the cake.

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The news is a consistent source of entertainment, knowledge and discovery that never ceases to exist and always comes out with more and more material each day. Because it plays such a vital part in our lives and is so important to keep up with, it is without a doubt a piece of your everyday routine that can’t go ignored.

Whether it is to understand the ramifications of recent legislation passed, to hear about recent events and grasp the potential consequences to your country, or simply hear about what is happening in other countries in order to compare them to what’s happening in yours, the news is certainly a staple in our lives and the most consistent way to get information.

This is why Scrambled Eggs has decided to unite two of your biggest worlds: learning English and keeping up with what is happening in the world. We hope our challenging daily exercises, composed of listening, vocabulary and comprehension exercises in English, will satisfy both of those above worlds in a satisfactory and also entertaining way.

So enough about introductions, let’s get to today’s Learn English with the News topic:

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Mark Zuckerberg | Definition Match

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Full Text:

Mark Zuckerberg hasn’t always had a clean reputation, and the Facebook/Meta founder and CEO has accrued a slew of less-than-flattering nicknames throughout his career. But during his recent appearance on The Tim Ferriss Show, he shared an illuminating label given to him by his own employees: The Eye of Sauron.

Zuckerberg brought up the moniker after he began discussing how he manages his energy in the workplace while constantly being barraged with news and information. “Maybe I’m not strong-willed enough or calm enough to do just straight-up meditation,” Zuckerberg said. “I actually need to put myself in a situation where it’s difficult to not focus on that thing.”

He continued: “Some of the folks I work with at the company — they say this lovingly — but I think that they sometimes refer to my attention as the Eye of Sauron. You have this unending amount of energy to go work on something, and if you point that at any given team, you will just burn them.”

For those who haven’t traveled to Middle-earth in a couple of Ages, the Eye of Sauron is a manifestation of the titular Lord of the Rings. Without delving too deeply into fantasy lore, it is nefarious, and bad things happen when it notices you. Zuckerberg’s computer nerd demeanor doesn’t quite scream “Dark Lord” per se, but it is hard to deny the comparison between his semi-autocratic mode of operation and that of the Eye.