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Oil-Eating Bacteria

Oil Eating Bacteria
Scientists have discovered unique oil-eating bacteria at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. How do these bacteria do what they do, and how relevant is their discovery to helping alleviate contemporary environmental problems, such as cleaning up oil slicks?

Dr. Jonathan Todd, from the University of East Anglia's School of Biological Sciences and Dr. David Lea-Smith, from UEA's School of Biological Sciences join the programme.

An abundance of these bacteria was discovered at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, at a depth equal to the height of Mt. Everest, by an international team, which includes Chinese scientists. Researchers were surprised to find out that hydrocarbons such as oil sink slowly from the surface and eventually find their way to great depths.

Apart from development of ways to clean up oil slicks, the new discovery is important because it may lead to the development of new forms of biofuel.

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