Some people wake up twice each day: once when their eyes open and again when they take that first sip of coffee. While caffeine addiction may or may not be a problem for them, researchers have recently created a new bacterium that devours caffeine to solve a myriad of problems, as reported by the American Chemical Society.
Caffeine can be found in so many drinks that it is actually polluting water sources, which poses some environmental problems. To address them, researchers have spliced genes into E. coli, giving it the power to feed on and breakdown caffeine. The genes originally came from a soil bacterium, but E. coli is very easy to work with and grow.
Another use for the modified E. coli is to possibly manufacture some medicines that include caffeine, such as some asthma medications. Also it could be adapted to measure how much caffeine is in a drink and recover by-products from coffee processing processes.
Source: American Chemical Society