University of Georgia scientist leads team
A team of researchers, led by a University of Georgia scientist, has developed the first transgenic system for removing arsenic from the soil by using genetically modified plants. The new system could have a major impact on arsenic pollution, which is a dramatic and growing threat to the environment and to human and animal health worldwide.
The scientists were able to insert two genes from the common bacterium Escherichia coli that allow a member of the mustard family called Arabidopsis to tolerate arsenic, which is usually lethal to plants. Arabidopsis can then remove arsenic from the soil and transport it to the plants leaves in a form which is far less biologically available in the environment.
"Our data demonstrate the first significant increase in arsenic tolerance and what we call hyperaccumulation by genetically engineered plants," said Dr. Richard Meagher of UGA. "This new system is a major step in developing methods of cleaning up the environment using plants."
Kim Carlyle | EurekAlert!
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Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
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