‘A Huge Step Forward’ — Mutant Enzyme Could Vastly Improve Plastic Bottle Recycling

Why the Wealthy Fear Pandemics ; Psychedelics and the End of Life ; and More Picks

recycling, plastic, mutant enzyme
The author writes, “Only about 30% of the plastic that goes into soda bottles gets turned into new plastic, and it often ends up as a lower strength version. Now, researchers report they've engineered an enzyme that can convert 90% of that same plastic back to its pristine starting materials. Work is underway to scale up the technology and open a demonstration plant next year.” Photo credit: Michal Maňas / Wikimedia (CC BY 3.0)
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Fast Food Workers at 50 Restaurants Across California Are on Strike Today (Chris)

From Vice: “[They are] demanding … masks, gloves, soap, $3-an-hour hazard pay, and two weeks of paid sick leave to workers exposed to COVID-19. Workers from Burger King, Taco Bell, Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Subway, Popeye’s, El Pollo Loco, and WaBa Grill will participate in the walkout, which was inspired by two strikes earlier this week at McDonald’s locations in San Jose and Los Angeles, where two workers have now tested positive for coronavirus.”

Sick and Living in an RV, Seattle Man Finds Coronavirus Outbreak Just Makes It Harder (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “[Sergio] Patiño, born in Brownsville, Texas, and raised partly in Mexico City, has lived in vans, RVs and apartments in Seattle for nearly 20 years after several years working on fish processing boats in Alaska. … The coronavirus outbreak is making a precarious living situation even more difficult. The usual places Patiño goes to get water have shut down or locked their spigots during the pandemic. He says the laundry and hygiene services he usually calls to make an appointment have not been calling him back.”

Why the Wealthy Fear Pandemics (Russ)

The author writes, “The coronavirus, like other plagues before it, could shift the balance between rich and poor.”

Our Government Runs on a 60-Year-Old Coding Language and Now It’s Falling Apart (Dana)

The author writes, “The Government Accountability Office has repeatedly warned about the use of legacy programming languages for critical systems. In 2019, the GAO issued a report summarizing 10 federal computing systems that were in desperate need of an overhaul.”

A Trip Beyond Fear: Pyschedelics and the End of Life (Chris)

From Open Democracy: “A growing body of scientific evidence suggests that psychedelic substances such as psilocybin … could have an important role to play in addressing the psychological and spiritual aspects of care in ways that currently go unmet.”

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