Microbial cleaning of pollution is refined

October 19, 2005

University of Massachusetts-Amherst scientists say strategies using microbes to clean polluted sites are becoming more refined due to gene sequencing.

The integrated approach of using gene sequencing, culture techniques and computer modeling allows scientists to better determine which microbes to use and when to use them with unprecedented precision against such environmental offenders as uranium and petroleum, said microbiologist Derek Lovley.

"If we know how the organisms will behave, and we know the site's hydrology and geochemistry, we'll actually be able to engineer the ideal conditions for cleanup," said Lovley.

He is presenting his research this week during the annual Soils, Sediments and Water Conference at the University-Massachusetts-Amherst. The work will also appear in an upcoming issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Microbes map path toward renewable energy future

Related Stories

Microbes map path toward renewable energy future

November 11, 2015

In the quest for renewable fuels, scientists are taking lessons from a humble bacterium that fills our oceans and covers moist surfaces the world over. While the organism captures light to make food in a process called photosynthesis, ...

Marginal soil can make for good biofuel crops

October 23, 2015

Switchgrass, a perennial native to the tallgrass prairie, is one of the most promising bioenergy crops in the United States, with potential to provide high-yield biomass on marginal soils unsuitable for traditional agricultural ...

Plants defend their territory with toxic substances

November 6, 2015

Plants are stakeholders in a subtle and complex chemical warfare to secure optimal growth conditions. Although it has been known for decades that plants produce and release chemical substances to fight their neighbors, it ...

Recommended for you

Amazon deforestation leaps 16 percent in 2015

November 28, 2015

Illegal logging and clearing of Brazil's Amazon rainforest increased 16 percent in the last year, the government said, in a setback to the aim of stopping destruction of the world's greatest forest by 2030.

CERN collides heavy nuclei at new record high energy

November 25, 2015

The world's most powerful accelerator, the 27 km long Large Hadron Collider (LHC) operating at CERN in Geneva established collisions between lead nuclei, this morning, at the highest energies ever. The LHC has been colliding ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.