Very hungry caterpillars

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A common beehive pest could be redeployed to chew plastic bags instead of honeycombs. Canadian researchers fed plastic bags to wax moth larvae and found that the larvae’s gut bacteria thrived on the new diet. In fact, some bacteria could live exclusively on polyethylene for more than a year. Researchers tried growing the bacteria by themselves on a petri dish, but found the microbes weren’t as effective at breaking down plastic as they were when they lived inside the guts of larvae.

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