Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Diatoms Discovered to Remove Phosphorus from Oceans

06.05.2008
Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology have discovered a new way that phosphorus is naturally removed from the oceans – its stored in diatoms.

The discovery opens up a new realm of research into an element that’s used for reproduction, energy storage and structural materials in every organism. Its understanding is vital to the continued quest to understand the growth of the oceans. The research appears in the May 2, 2008 edition of the journal Science.

Ellery Ingall, associate professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, along with Ph.D. student Julia Diaz, collected organisms and sediments along an inlet near Vancouver Island in British Columbia. During their investigation on the boat, Diaz used a traditional optical microscope to discover that diatoms, microscopic organisms that live in oceans and damp surfaces, were storing blobs of very dense concentrations of phosphorus called polyphosphates.

“These polyphosphates have been missed in classic studies because they haven’t been recovered by the typical measurement techniques,” said Ingall. “No one measured or treated the samples because no one knew they were there – they didn’t even think to look for it.”

For a long time, scientists have been unable to account for the difference in the amount of phosphorus that’s in the oceans and the amount that’s washed in from rivers.

“We’re getting the initial clues as to how this phosphorus gets to the bottom of the oceans,” said Diaz. “These diatoms are sinking from the top to the bottom of the ocean, and as they’re sinking, they’re transporting the phosphorus in the form of intracellular polyphosphate.”

After making their initial discovery, the team made another. They went to Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago to delve deeper and found that some of the blobs were polyphosphate, some were a mineral known as apatite, and some were a transitional material between the two.

Now that they’ve proved a link between polyphosphate and apatite, they’re next step is to try and capture the chemical transition between the two by running controlled experiments in the lab.

David Terraso | newswise
Further information:
http://www.gatech.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Preservation of floodplains is flood protection
27.09.2017 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>