Could the search for a sustainable alternative to plastic be over?
An international team of scientists solving the puzzle of how to break down wood into it's basic building blocks.
The researchers used advanced 3D bioengineering to alter the shape of the enzyme that is active on lignin - one of nature's toughest polymers - and a core component of wood.
The work means chemicals like nylon, plastics, and even carbon fibre, can now be made from a waste product.
The discovery also offers additional environmental benefits - reducing our reliance on oil and helping to reduce CO2 emissions.
(Video source: Reuters via VCG)