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Okra and microplasticsGrowing up in southern India, Rajani Srinivasan knew that okra was delicious when cut up and served in bhindi masala. It was also common knowledge that tamarind enlivened a vegetable curry and that dried fenugreek leaves filled the kitchen with a bittersweet aroma. But it wasn’t until decades later that Srinivasan made an unlikely and promising new discovery about these staples of her native cuisine.With her team of researchers, Srinivasan, now a professor of chemistry at Tarleton State University, has found that these ingredients can remove microplastics from water, reducing the likelihood that they’ll be consumed, or that they’ll pollute sensitive ecosystems. “I wanted to come up with a unique solution for a bigger problem,” Srinivasan says.Microplastics, which are tiny plastic fragments no bigger than…

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