Navigation Links
Everything you wanted to know about microbes and oil spills but were afraid to ask

Is it true that microbes cleaned up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico? Can bacteria really "eat" oil, and if so, how? To help clear up the confusion the American Academy of Microbiology has brought together the nation's leading experts to consider and answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding microbes and oil spills.

"Long before the Gulf oil spill microbes evolved the ability to degrade the complex hydrocarbon mixture we call petroleum. They were already present in the Gulf of Mexico and ready to attack the oil when the spill occurred," says Ronald Atlas of the University of Louisville, a member of the steering committee.

The report entitled FAQ: Microbes and Oil Spills is based on the deliberations of over 20 of the nation's leading experts who came together for one day to develop clear answers to seven frequently asked questions regarding the role of microbes in the oil spill.

The questions considered by the report are:

What does it mean to say microbes can 'clean up' an oil spill?

Where do the 'oil-eating' microbes come from?

What do the microbes need in order to biodegrade oil and how long does it take?

How do dispersants and nutrients affect oil biodegradation?

Is it possible to engineer microbes so they work even better?

What happens to the oil after the microbes degrade it?

What happens to the microbes when the oil is all gone?

Most answers begin with a simple paragraph summarizing what is known, followed by a more detailed explanation. Spread throughout the report are sidebar boxes discussing issues related to the questions such as a brief introduction to oil or new ways to find oil-eating microbes.

FAQ: Microbes and Oil Spills is the first in a new series of reports designed to provide a rapid response to emerging issues. Traditionally Academy reports are based on multi-day colloquia after which the final report can take up to a year to develop. The FAQ series will be based on single-day meetings focused on specific questions after which a final report will be published in 2-3 months.

"The Academy FAQ reports explain complex microbiological problems in a timely, balanced format that is easily understandable by the public, the media, and policymakers," says Stanley Maloy of San Diego State University who moderated the colloquium.


Contact: Jim Sliwa
American Society for Microbiology

Related biology news :

1. Undergrad engineers research everything from water quality to wildfires this summer
2. Research concludes there is no simple theory of everything inside the enigmatic E8
3. 10 most wanted plants inspected for clues to climate change
4. Entrepreneurs wanted for NJIT workshops about how to launch a business
5. Insects hold atomic clues about the type of habitats in which they live
6. Changing views about saturated fat and cardiovascular disease
7. Ancient teeth raise new questions about the origins of modern man
8. Key information about breast cancer risk and development is found in junk DNA
9. Atomic weights of 10 elements on periodic table about to make an historic change
10. New study about Arctic sea-ice, greenhouse gases and polar bear habitat
11. What pine cones reveal about the evolution of flowers
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/12/2015)... -- A golden retriever that stayed healthy despite having the ... a new lead for treating this muscle-wasting disorder, report ... MIT and Harvard and the University of São Paolo ... Cell, pinpoints a protective gene that boosts muscle ... Boston Children,s lab of Lou Kunkel , PhD, ...
(Date:11/10/2015)... , Nov. 10, 2015 ... behavioral biometrics that helps to identify and verify ... Signature is considered as the secure and accurate ... identification of a particular individual because each individual,s ... accurate results especially when dynamic signature of an ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... 2015   MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based ... clinical research, is pleased to announce that it has ... as one of only three finalists for a ... and Growing" category. The Tekne Awards honor Minnesota ... technology innovation and leadership. iMedNet™ eClinical ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna ... announced today that the remaining 11,000 post-share consolidation ... Purchase Warrants (the "Series B Warrants") subject to ... exercised on November 23, 2015, which will result ... After giving effect to the issuance of such ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... are paramount. Insertion points for in-line sensors can represent a weak spot where ... InTrac 781/784 series of retractable sensor housings , which are designed to tolerate ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Vancouver, BC (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 ... ... to our customer, OrthoAccel® Technologies, Inc., on being named to Deloitte's 2015 Technology ... Creation Technologies’ Texas facility, OrthoAccel manufactures AcceleDent®, a FDA-cleared, Class II medical device ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. ... the discovery, development and commercialization of first-in-class therapeutics, today ... Officer, is scheduled to present at the 2015 Piper ... a.m. EST, at The Lotte New York Palace Hotel ... . --> . ...
Breaking Biology Technology: