Navigation Links
MU researcher uses bacteria to make radioactive metals inert
Date:9/8/2009

COLUMBIA, Mo. The Lost Orphan Mine below the Grand Canyon hasn't produced uranium since the 1960s, but radioactive residue still contaminates the area. Cleaning the region takes an expensive process that is only done in extreme cases, but Judy Wall, a biochemistry professor at the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, is researching the use of sulfate-reducing bacteria to convert toxic radioactive metal to inert substances, a much more economical solution.

The bacteria Wall is studying are bio-corrosives and can change the solubility of heavy metals. They can take uranium and convert it to uraninite, a nearly insoluble substance that will sink to the bottom of a lake or stream. Wall is looking into the bacteria's water cleansing ability and how long the changed material would remain inert.

Wall's research could also be beneficial to heavy metal pollution from storage tanks and industrial waste. The bacteria are already present in more than 7,000 heavy metal contaminated sites, but they live in a specific range of oxygen and temperature, making them difficult to control.

"Our research must be done in the absence of air," Wall said. "Obviously, none but the most committed and stubborn will work with them."

Even if an oxygen-tolerant strain were developed, there are still multiple factors that would make applying the bacteria challenging, and these microbes can contribute to massive iron corrosion.

"Knowledge of the way bacteria live in the environment, in microbial communities, is still in its infancy," Wall said. "We just don't know a lot about the communication systems among microbes."

Wall and researchers from the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory in California are investigating the bacterium's basic genetics and hope to determine its growth limits and activity in natural settings, including how to make its interactions with metals sustainable. They have already identified a few genes that are critical to converting uranium.


'/>"/>

Contact: Christian Basi
BasiC@missouri.edu
573-882-4430
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Rice researchers seek better vaccine procedure
2. Researchers find first evidence of virus in malignant prostate cells
3. Diabetes advance: Researchers find gene that causes resistance to insulin
4. Researchers find 2 more genetic risk factors for Alzheimers disease
5. Researchers restore missing protein in rare genetic brain disorder
6. Mayo Clinic researchers find that protein believed to protect against cancer has a Mr. Hyde side
7. Species diversity helps ASU researchers refine analyses of human gene mutations
8. Nonagenarian researcher petitions FDA to ban trans fats
9. UT Southwestern researchers examine mechanisms that help cancer cells proliferate
10. Marine biomedicine researchers decode structure of promising sea compound
11. Researchers report gene associated with language, speech and reading disorders
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
MU researcher uses bacteria to make radioactive metals inert
(Date:4/5/2017)... -- KEY FINDINGS The global market for ... of 25.76% during the forecast period of 2017-2025. The ... the growth of the stem cell market. ... INSIGHTS The global stem cell market is segmented on ... stem cell market of the product is segmented into ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... , March 30, 2017 Trends, opportunities ... (physiological and behavioral), by technology (fingerprint, AFIS, iris recognition, ... recognition, and others), by end use industry (government and ... immigration, financial and banking, and others), and by region ... , Asia Pacific , and ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... Mar 24, 2017 Research and Markets has ... Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" report ... ... at a CAGR of around 15.1% over the next decade to ... report analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for all the given ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... For the second time in ... STEM Mentoring Award. Representatives of the FirstHand program travelled to Washington, D.C. Tuesday, ... , US2020’s mission is to change the trajectory of STEM education in America ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... recipients of 13 prestigious awards honoring scientists who have made ... in a scheduled symposium during Pittcon 2018, the world’s leading conference and exposition ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... ... in the medical journal, Epilepsia, Brain Sentinel’s SPEAC® System which uses the ... in detecting generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) using surface electromyography (sEMG). The prospective ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... D.C. (PRWEB) , ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... will host a lunch discussion and webinar on INSIGhT, the first-ever adaptive clinical ... Principal Investigator, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The event is free and open to the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: