It’s no longer possible to ignore the effect humans have — on the environment, on each other and on the Internet. In that spirit, this session brings together people with big ideas on responsible design, creation, consumption and eating. From a renegade gardener to energy software maker, this session takes into mind that it’s not […]Continue reading
Miranda Wang and Jeanny Yao
Why you should listen
After a visit to a plastic-filled waste transfer station last year, students Miranda Wang and Jeanny Yao learned that much of the plastic in trash may not degrade for 5,000 years. Synthesized into plastics are phthalates, compounds that make shower curtain liners, food wraps and other products bendable but may also adversely impact human reproductive development and health. As plastics slowly break down, these phthalates would leach into the surrounding environment.
So, the two young scientists tackled the problem and ultimately discovered strains of bacteria that have the potential to naturally degrade phthalates. Their work earned a regional first place in British Columbia for the 2012 Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada, as well as a special award for the most commercial potential at the contest’s finals.
What others say
"[Wang and Yao] came up with the research idea and the underlying experimental design, which is remarkable for such young people." — Lindsay Eltis, University of British Columbia, The Vancouver Sun 5/3/2012