By Dan Shapley
Plastic is petroleum, the modern environmental mantra goes. Except, that is, when it's chicken. Scientists are learning how to transform chicken feathers and other waste from poultry farms into biodegradable plastic. Hold your why-did-the-chicken-cross-the-road jokes, please. The technological breakthrough is one of those developments that is as delightful as it is potentially revolutionary. Finding new uses for waste products -- like the truckloads of chicken waste that typically have no great use -- is simple, smart and resourceful. Finding new uses that replace petroleum-based products is genius. And that's no joke, according to a story in the June 16 Roanoke Times.