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Supermassive black holes at the centres of galaxies can get absurdly huge, sometimes reaching masses billions of times greater than our Sun. The rate at which black holes grow can vary, but Australian astronomers have detected one such object with an unusually intense appetite, making it the fastest-growing black hole ever detected in the observable universe.

In a chance discovery, a research team from Europe has learned that a common insect larva is capable of breaking down the plastic found in shopping bags and other polyethylene-based products. This trash-munching caterpillar could inspire scientists to develop a new chemical process to tackle the growing problem of plastic waste.