A new bacterium has been discovered, one that shares a fundamental feature with many of our readers: it runs on caffeine. Pseudomonas putida, or CBB5 as it's known, breaks down caffeine into CO2 and ammonia, using the methyl groups in the stuff as a fuel source.
What's especially cool is that compounds produced in its digestive process are useful for creating drugs that can be used, according to researchers, to "treat asthma, improve blood flow and stabilize heart arrhythmias." The bacteria could prove to be a cheaper way to manufacture these otherwise expensive chemicals. Not only that, but it could potentially be used to make decaf coffee and tea, or be used to scrub the caffeine from coffee processing runoff, thus reducing its environmental impact.