Scientists at the University of Texas and the University of Iowa have created a synthetic bacteria that grows thanks to one of humankind's favorite stimulants -- caffeine.
The bacteria itself is a modification of a naturally occuring bacteria that eats caffeine and was discovered in 2011 by University of Iowa researchers. The thought was to use the bacteria as a tool to help clean up the caffeine pollution that has been on the rise in recent years, but the original bacteria was not as reliable a cleaner as originally hoped. However, the modifications made have stirred hopes that it will be a useful environmental clean-up tool. It is not clear yet when the bacteria will start being used, but the team is in the process of filing patents for its breakthrough.