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Plastic-chewing bacteria get out of hand in debut novel

The vexing question above has provided Scott Fotheringham with fertile ground for his new book, The Rest is Silence.

Benny is a grad student in New York City, a molecular biologist developing a very specialized strain of bacteria. The concept of bacteria eating plastic seems simple. Bacteria eat and digest discarded plastic, the perfect solution for the ever expanding pile of plastic cluttering our world and our oceans. Or so it would seem.

“There is a naturally occurring fungus that will digest plastic precursors,” said Fotheringham in a phone interview from his home in Toronto. He believes the concept of bacteria eating plastic is very possible but he advocates caution.

“We don’t have a great track record,” he says.

“How often have we created something, or introduced a species into an ecosystem where things get out of control? The Rest is Silence is a what-if scenario.” Scary stuff.
 
 

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