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Earthrise

Arctic Enzymes

Substituting chemicals with enzymes found in fungi could help reduce the environmental impact of industry.

Last Modified: 03 Nov 2013 08:14
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Chemicals used in industry to manufacture a variety of goods, from clothes to food and pharmaceuticals, can pollute the environment.

But a team of scientists think the secret to reducing the environmental impact of industry and decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels might just be found in fungi.

Fungi contain a diverse source of enzymes, biological catalysts that kick-start chemical reactions in the cells of all living organisms. Scientists believe these enzymes can increasingly be used as a substitute for harsh chemicals often used in industry.

Russell Beard heads to the Arctic and joins scientists collecting fungi capable of tolerating very low temperatures in the hope that these could change manufacturing processes across the world.

earthrise can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Tuesday: 2230; Wednesday: 0930; Thursday: 0330; Friday: 1630; Saturday: 2230; Sunday: 0930; Monday: 0330; Tuesday: 1630. 

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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