A new, all-natural, pollutant-busting microbe has been discovered by scientists in Germany. Research published in the October 2003 issue of Microbiology, a Society for General Microbiology journal, describes a new strain of bacterium, which could be used in the near future to clean up polluted land.
Over the years, many harsh and highly toxic chemicals have built-up in the environment. Dr Rapp and his colleagues at the National Research Centre for Biotechnology in Braunschweig, Germany, have found the first bacterium that has two essential qualities that allow it to cleanse contaminated soil of some of these chemicals.
“For a microbe, two characteristics are important for de-contamination of land,” explains Dr Peter Rapp, “not only the ability to break down the polluting chemicals, but also, the ability to actually access the chemicals in the first place”. Tests carried out show that a species of Rhodococcus bacteria, called strain MS11, not only breaks down a wide selection of pollutants, but also makes its own detergent to help it access them.
Faye Jones | alfa
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