Science may have jumped the shark with fish sperm bioplastic cup


In China, a researcher team at Tianjin University has developed what it calls the world’s most sustainable bioplastic using “natural DNA,” which sounds reasonable before it nonchalantly reveals the source of the DNA to be salmon sperm. 

The retrieval procedure was not described, but once on hand, the DNA was extracted and mixed with a vegetable oil component to produce a hydrogel. After removing moisture and freeze-drying, the team was left with a plastic-like substance, which they fashioned into a cup, among other prototypes.

“To the best of our knowledge, our reported DNA plastics are the most environmentally sustainable materials of any known plastics,” study lead Dayong Yang told The Times, as reported by Compared to polystyrene, the salmon-sperm bioplastic resulted in 97% fewer carbon emissions. 

The work was published in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.