Miranda Wang and Jeanny Yao: Two young scientists break down plastics with bacteria


“Although we’re not the first ones to find bacteria that can break down phthalates, we were the first ones to look into our local river and find a possible solution to a local problem. We have not only shown that bacteria can be the solution to plastic pollution, but also that being open to uncertain outcomes and taking risks create opportunities for unexpected discoveries.”
– Jeanny Yao

“Einstein once said, ‘You can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking you used when you created them.’ If we’re making plastic synthetically, then we think the solution would be to break them down biochemically.”
– Miranda Wang