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We read about radioactivity and its possible hazards in a previous post. We also learnt about a bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans and its ability to survive high intensity radiation, which is otherwise lethal to all life forms. This article features the applications of the strain in bioremediation of radioactive waste as well as sites.

The word plastic comes from the Greek word “plastikos”, which means ‘able to be molded into different shapes’. Plastics are made up of linking of monomers together by chemical bonds. Polythene comprises of 64% of total plastic, which is a linear hydrocarbon polymers consisting of long chains of the ethylene monomers. General formula of polyethylene is CnH2n, where ‘n’ is the number of carbon atoms. The plastics we use today are made from inorganic and organic raw materials, such as carbon, silicon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen and chloride. The basic materials used for making plastics are extracted from oil, coal and natural gas. Plastics include polythene, propylene, polystyrene, polyurethane, nylon etc. Polyethylene either LDPE (low density polyethylene) or HDPE (high density polyethylene) is a thermoplastic polymer made by monomers of ethylene, used mostly as thin films and packaging sheets.

The word ‘bacteria’ generally is always coupled with a negative connotation in day to day life. This is because bacteria are mostly associated with diseases that afflict us. However, there exist a plethora of bacteria which are highly beneficial and crucial to the existence of mankind. . We have failed to realize their significance, their positive impact on our life and their contribution towards sustaining life on earth since the beginning of time.