Navigation Links
Genomic research will enable greener cleanup of military explosive test sites

Vancouver, BC - Lowly bacteria, it turns out, hold the power to help militaries and munitions manufacturing plants around the world clean up toxic waste on test sites.

Compounds known as nitramines, specifically RDX, were invented back in World War II and have been used in military munitions for decades. These high-energy compounds are often used to propel tank shells and act like a more powerful version of TNT.

But with increased knowledge of their environmentally harmful effects, Canadian and US militaries, along with others around the world are looking for ways to clean up their contaminated test sites.

Dr. Lindsay Eltis of UBC, is leading the Genome BC-funded project entitled, Genomic Studies of Explosives Biodegradation. The $3.45 million project will study how bacteria degrade RDX and determine how to maximize its potential for bioremediation.

"RDX is a rich source of nitrogen, and certain bacteria including Rhodococcus and Gordonia, have evolved to thrive on the contaminants this explosive leaves behind," says Eltis.

With a voracious appetite for toxic chemical compounds and a near indestructibility (some can survive even high levels of nuclear radiation), Eltis describes bacteria as the "ultimate garbage incinerators."

This Genome BC-funded research, which is also funded by the US Military, presents a welcome alternative to the current option for cleanup at these sites: a costly and invasive process which involves removing the top layer of soil, carting it away by dump truck and burning it in an incinerator.

Defence Research and Development Canada, an Agency of the Canadian Department of National Defense has assisted this research by providing soil samples. Dr. Sylvie Brochu is a Defense Scientist with the organization. "Protection of the environment is a high priority for DND. We are committed to conducting military training in a way that causes as little impact on the environment as possible. We are always looking for solutions to existing environmental problems and this research presents a natural solution that is very attractive."

"Genome BC is pleased to support such a novel and valuable project," says Dr. Alan Winter, President and CEO. "Bacteria mediated degradation of RDX is the key to a less invasive form of environmental cleanup of these test sites. The innovative genomic approach of this research holds great promise for useful technologies and improved bioremediation strategies."


Contact: Rachael Froese Zamperini
Genome BC

Related biology news :

1. K-State receives more than $780,000 to fund graduate students studying ecology, evolution, genomics
2. Concordia University to construct new building for genomics research
3. New portal for plant genomics will support research into improved crops
4. University of Washington receives $25 million to create Northwest Genomics Center
5. Wisconsin Center of Excellence in Genomics Science established
6. NIH funds grantees focusing on epigenomics of human health and disease
7. New genomic research to tackle supply and demand issues in emerging forestry biofuels industry
8. 10th Functional Genomics: Chemical Biology 2009
9. Scientists decoding genomic sequences of H1N1 using isolates from outbreak in Argentina
10. Exploring standards to advance microbial genomics
11. Landmark project to map genomics of complex ant systems
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/18/2015)...  As new scientific discoveries deepen our understanding of ... providers face challenges in better using that knowledge to ... as more children continue to survive pediatric cancer, that ... age. John M. Maris, M.D ., a ... (CHOP) . --> John M. Maris, ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... 2015  Vigilant Solutions announces today that Mr. ... Directors. --> --> ... the partnership at TPG Capital, one of the largest ... Billion in revenue.  He founded and led TPG,s Operating ... companies, from 1997 to 2013.  In his first role, ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... , Nov. 12, 2015  Arxspan has ... of MIT and Harvard for use of its ... information management tools. The partnership will support the ... biological and chemical research information internally and with ... be used for managing the Institute,s electronic laboratory ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... PHILADELPIA, PA (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... young entrepreneurs at competitive events in five states to develop and pitch their BIG ... student projects from each state are competing for votes to win the title of ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... November 24, 2015 SHPG ) announced today ... the Piper Jaffray 27 th Annual Healthcare Conference in ... 2015, at 8:30 a.m. EST (1:30 p.m. GMT). --> ... Officer, will participate in the Piper Jaffray 27 th Annual ... on Tuesday, December 1, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. EST (1:30 p.m. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  Tikcro Technologies Ltd. (OTCQB: TIKRF) today announced ... 29, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. Israel time, at ... 98 Yigal Allon Street, 36 th Floor, Tel Aviv, ... Eric Paneth and Izhak Tamir to the Board of ... as external directors; , approval of an amendment to certain terms ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... SAN FRANCISCO , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... today announced that Emily Leproust, Ph.D., Twist Bioscience ... Piper Jaffray Healthcare Conference on December 1, 2015 ... Palace Hotel in New York City. ... . Twist Bioscience is on ...
Breaking Biology Technology: