Oil-eating bacteria to clean up spills

I'm sure nobody here has to be convinced that oil spills are bad things. Cleaning them up is arduous and always a compromise between various unsatisfactory methods; when scientists tell us that the cleanest way to get rid of the oil is to burn it, and often you can't even do that, it's clearly not ideal. But there's hope on the horizon!

I have to admit that a few things in this Science Daily article went over my head for lack of a complete scientific training, but in essence it seems to be saying that according to a paper published in Enviromental Microbiology (not quite my bedtime reading), an indigenous microbiota of the Galician shore (northwest Spain, south of the Bay of Biscay, north of Portugal) is able to degrade crude oil and could be used on spills. Somewhat ironically, it's possible that this oil-eating bacteria is present in that region because of past contamination, which would have made "indigenous populations evolve to select for organisms able to grow and degrade components of crude oil." Lets hope it turns out to work well on large scale oil spills. ::A Hope For Oil Spill Bioremediation

[by MGR]

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