Oil spills from tankers or simply your local garage could soon be cleaned up using specially-selected bacteria, according to research presented today (Wednesday, 06 April 2005) at the Society for General Microbiologys 156th Meeting at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.
Millions of gallons of crude oil and its derivates used by the plastics and chemical industries are transported vast distances around the world every day, and inevitably some of it gets spilled. Scientists from University College Dublin are studying how natural bacteria can be used to tackle these pollutants.
"We looked at soil exposed to one of the main components of diesel fuel to see whether the hundreds of different micro-organisms in the site could break down the hydrocarbon, and to find out which bacteria in the natural community were involved," says John Reynolds from the Department of Industrial Microbiology at University College Dublin. “Although we know that microbes do degrade these chemicals, we know very little about how this happens in real ecosystems. This has been because until recently, methods were not available to really analyse what happens to microbial populations actually in the soil.”
Faye Jones | alfa
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A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
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In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
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The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
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The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
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