Aug 18, 2017

Plastic-eating plankton offer inspiration for cleaning up oceans

Katija et al., Science Advances 2017

Each day, larvacean plankton about the size of a pinkie finger construct 3-foot-wide mucus nets that serve as their fleeting homes. These structures filter seawater in massive amounts for bits of food for the plankton. In a study published yesterday, researchers report the zooplankton can capture plastic particles in the ocean's surface waters in the same way, ingest them and dispose of them on the seafloor.

Why it matters: These tiny organisms moving tiny particles of plastic could inspire technologies to clean up the sea.

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