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:10/29/2015)... 2015 Daon, a global leader in mobile ... a new version of its IdentityX Platform , ... America have already installed IdentityX v4.0 and ... FIDO UAF certified server component as an ... FIDO features. These customers include some of the largest ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... 2015 In the present market scenario, security ... various industry verticals such as banking, healthcare, defense, electronic ... demand for secure & simplified access control and growing ... hacking of bank accounts, misuse of users, , and ... PC,s, laptops, and smartphones are expected to provide potential ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... 2015  Delta ID Inc., a company focused on ... PC devices, announced its ActiveIRIS® technology powers the iris ... launched by NTT DOCOMO, INC in Japan ... smartphone to include iris recognition technology, after a very ... in May 2015, world,s first smartphone to have this ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... N.C. , Nov. 24, 2015  Clintrax Global, Inc., a ... North Carolina , today announced that the company has set ... represented a 391% quarter on quarter growth posted for Q3 of ... and Mexico , with the establishment ... in December 2015. --> United Kingdom ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... This fall, global software solutions leader ... five states to develop and pitch their BIG ideas to improve health and wellness ... competing for votes to win the title of SAP's Teen Innovator, an all-expenses paid ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , November 24, 2015 SHPG ) ... participate in the Piper Jaffray 27 th Annual Healthcare Conference ... December 1, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. EST (1:30 p.m. GMT). ... Chief Financial Officer, will participate in the Piper Jaffray 27 th ... , NY on Tuesday, December 1, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. EST ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  Tikcro Technologies Ltd. (OTCQB: TIKRF) today ... December 29, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. Israel time, ... Tower, 98 Yigal Allon Street, 36 th Floor, Tel ... Eric Paneth and Izhak Tamir to the Board ... Skaliter as external directors; , approval of an amendment to certain ...
Breaking Biology Technology: