Harvard research shows bacteria can be used to turn manganese into a toxic sponge

Bacteria can be used to clean-up contaminated mines

Scientific American reports on research out of Harvard University and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution that shows a specific kind of bacteria can be used to turn manganese into a toxic sponge. The research describes how the Stilbella aciculosa fungus produces “a highly reactive kind of oxygen”, called superoxide. The superoxide in turn energizes manganese particles which act as magnets for toxic metals and other dangerous substances. The idea is that the bacteria can be put to work at contaminated sites and perform the brunt of water clean-up.

To learn more about this research, click here.

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