Pinning hope on Mealworms to eradicate plastic pollution


styrofoam chewing mealworms

Mealworms are the larval form of the mealworm beetle, Tenebrio molitor, a species of darkling beetle.The bacteria present in the gut of worm breaks plastic components such as polystyrene and styrofoam into biodegrade.

Research involved:

Mealworms in lab under reported experiment ate between 34 and 39 milligrams of Styrofoam – about the weight of a small pill – per day. The worms converted about half of the Styrofoam into carbon dioxide, as they would with any food source.Within 24 hours, they excreted the bulk of the remaining plastic as biodegraded fragments that look similar to tiny rabbit droppings. Mealworms fed a steady diet of Styrofoam were as healthy as those eating a normal diet and their waste appeared to be safe to use as soil for crops.

Understanding of bacterial enzymes involved in plastic digestion can offer cues for further research and its application in real scenario


Targeted Photoimmunotherapy : Promising approach for cancer treatment..

  • Tumour micro environment has both T cells which can destroy cancer and TREGS regulatory T cells. TREGS suppress the immune response in tumour microenvironment which results in unchecked proliferation of cancerous cells.
  • Targeted photoimmunotherapy selectively target TREGS so that T cells can check cancer growth.
  • In near infrared photoimmunotherapy (NIR-PIT) photoabsorber is conjugated to antibody that selectively binds to cell surface receptor of cancer cells.When in mice model for cancer conjugated antibodies are injected these conjugated antibodies binds with receptors on their target cells (TREGS).
  • After binding with target cells infrared illumination is given to mice ( Experimental mice had healthy immune system but with tumour made up of mice lung or colon cancer cells and then implanted under their skin ) leading to activation of conjugated antibody resulting in selected swelling and bursting of TREG. Due to bursting TREG releases their content in surrounding tumour microenvironment which leads to activation of T cells.13095985_922172651215162_5152497112618807080_n.jpg


Microbes : A long ignored field in Alzheimer’s Research

Following points highlights dire need to study molecular basis of microbial role in Alzheimer pathogenesis.


  • Enough evidence in role of microbes in dementia and building up of amyloid plaques.
  • Microbial density in brain of Alzheimer patients far more than control these deposits may produce inflammation during old age when immune system is compromised or haemochromatosis.
  • Blood sample of people with Alzheimer was found to contain dormant microbes, bacterial cell wall component like lipopolysaccride such things are known to cause neuro inflammation.
  • So clinical trials of antimicrobial against microbes may shed further light in novel concept.