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Sperm To Be Used As An Eco-Friendly Plastic...Thanks Science, You've Done It Again

Scientists from China have recently made some quite starling discoveries after having been able to make what they believe to be an eco-friendly plastic out of salmon sperm.

While the news of this discovery has garnered a few giggles along the way, the findings are incredibly important as they may help to reduce plastic waste which is negatively impacting our oceans and our planet as a whole.

Overuse of plastics has taken a massive toll on our planet already.

Unsplash | Naja Bertolt Jensen

Everyday plastics require a lot of heat and harmful chemicals to form in the first place, which contributes to global warming and can increase the spread of toxins.

The fact that plastics take centuries to break down also means that they end up in landfills or our oceans.

Hence the drive amongst scientists to find eco-friendly plastic alternatives.

However, one thing that you may not have expected to play an important part in this pursuit is sperm.

Although, by combining two short strands of sperm DNA with vegetable oil, scientists have been able to create a squishy substance that is known as hydrogel, according to EuroNewsGreen.

This hydrogel can then be molded into various different shapes.

Once the hydrogel has been molded into whatever shape is desired, the substance then has any moisture removed from it by a process known as freeze-drying.

The cup which is pictured above is an example of what can be made from this hydrogel.

The team of scientists behind this discovery have also used the hydrogel to make a puzzle piece and a DNA molecule.

Even though the teams of scientists from China's Tianjin University who were behind this discovery used salmon sperm, DNA could be also potentially be used from other forms of life — including the likes of algae.

However, in its current state, the hydrogel does have some drawbacks.

Unsplash | tanvi sharma

At present, the items that have been created through freeze-drying can be turned back into gel form when submerged in water. And, while on the one hand this makes them easier to break down than normal plastics, it also does limit their uses in their current state,

While this is an early stage, the potential future for where this discovery could be taken is huge — also, it could have a hugely positive impact on the Earth's ecosystems.

h/t: EuroNewsGreen