musings on music and life

August 17, 2016

The next Theranos

Filed under: Internet craziness — sankirnam @ 11:22 am

I’m calling it right now: Biocellection is going to be the next Theranos.

The “depolymerization” of polymers is a massive, unsolved problem in chemistry, because it essentially involves the reversal of thermodynamics; for instance, “depolymerizing” polyethylene involves converting strong C-C sigma bonds to C-C pi bonds. This is a problem that many millions of man-hours have been spent on by some of the smartest people on the planet, with little luck. I’m highly skeptical that two girls just out of college with little experience doing serious scientific research would be able to solve this long-standing challenge.

In any case, breaking down plastics into carbon dioxide (as shown in the TED talk on Biocellection’s website where they talk about bacteria backing down phthalates into CO2 via aerobic respiration) by conventional methods is not difficult.

The comments at Chemjobber are particularly enlightening, and I had the idea for this being the “next Theranos” before that commenter did!

 

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