Navigation Links
Microbes may be engineered to help trap excess CO2 underground
Date:2/23/2012

San Diego, Calif. In H.G. Wells' classic science-fiction novel, The War of the Worlds, bacteria save the Earth from destruction when the Martian invaders succumb to infections to which humans have become immune through centuries of evolution. If a team led by researchers at Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory's Center for Nanoscale Control of Geologic CO2 (NCGC) has its way, bacteria with a little assist from science will help prevent global destruction for real by trapping underground a greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide (CO2 ), that threatens Earth's climate.

The team will discuss its work at the 56th Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society (BPS) in San Diego, Calif., held Feb. 25-29.

Among the methods being considered for removing excess CO2 (from sources such as power stations) from the atmosphere is transporting the gas into porous rock deep underground. There, it can mineralize with cations (positively charged atoms) to form solid carbonate minerals and become permanently trapped. This mineralization process, however, is extremely slow, sometimes taking hundreds to thousands of years.

Bacteria, the researchers predicted, might help speed things up.

"Previous studies have shown that underground bacteria remain in the rock after CO2 injection. We know these microbes can impact how minerals form, leading us to wonder if they also affect the rate of mineralization," says NCGC biochemist Jenny Cappuccio. "And if bacteria could enhance the nucleation of carbonate minerals, then perhaps we could fine-tune that ability in the laboratory."

Using different surface bacteria as proxies for their deeper-dwelling cousins, the researchers first examined the microbes' effect on calcium carbonate formation, and discovered that all of the species accelerated the process. The rate, they report, was highest in microbes whose surfaces have a thin protein shell known as an S-layer.

"We suspected that the negative charge of the S-layer attracted positive calcium ions and brought them in proximity with carbonate," Cappuccio says.

To test this theory, the researchers engineered artificial S-layers and increased their negative charge by attaching a loop of six amino acids what Cappuccio calls a "loop of negativity." When carbonate was introduced, nucleation was significantly increased.

The next step, Cappuccio says, will be to culture deep subsurface microbes in the lab, make nanoscale changes to increase the negative charge of their surfaces, and see if that "tuning" makes them better able to speed up carbonate nucleation.

The presentation, "Tuning microbial surfaces to control carbonate mineralization," is at 1:45 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012, in the San Diego Convention Center, Hall FGH. ABSTRACT: http://tinyurl.com/7vgl8va


'/>"/>

Contact: Ellen R. Weiss
eweiss@biophysics.org
240-290-5606
American Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. Microbes generate electricity while cleaning up nuclear waste
2. New research reveals soil microbes accelerate global warming
3. Discovery opens the door to electricity from microbes
4. Exposing ZnO nanorods to visible light removes microbes
5. MO BIO Laboratories, Inc. DNA Isolation Products Used to Analyze Microbes Present in Deepwater Horizon Oil Plume
6. Microbes reprogrammed to ooze oil for renewable biofuel
7. Hidden diversity in key environmental cleanup microbes found by systems biology assessment
8. SRNLs microbes useful for for environmental cleanup and oil recovery
9. Microbes, Inc. Extends Warrant Tender Offer
10. Engineered bacteria mop up mercury spills
11. In the battle to relieve back aches, Cornell researchers create bioengineered spinal disc implants
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/11/2016)... , Feb. 11, 2016  Dovetail Genomics™ LLC today ... beta program for a planned metagenomic genome assembly service. ... company,s metagenomic genome assembly method in a talk on ... Biology & Technology conference in Orlando, Fla. ... highly complex datasets is difficult. Using its proprietary ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... , ... Global Stem Cells Group, has announced ... new facility will provide advanced protocols and state-of-the-art techniques in cellular medicine, focusing ... The new GSCG clinic is headed by four prominent Ecuadorian physicians, including Pablo ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , Feb.10, 2016 ASAE is introducing a ... Management Companies (AMC) the option of joining or renewing ... fee determined by staff size, every employee in any ... ASAE and reap all available member benefits.   ... new organizational membership options will allow organizations of any ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Benchmark Research, a fully-integrated network of ... principal investigators (PI) to the roles of Chief Medical Officer, Clinical Research and ... Chu, a Benchmark Research PI in the Austin office, will assume the role ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:1/21/2016)... January 21, 2016 ... new market research report "Emotion Detection and Recognition Market by ... Tools (Facial Expression, Voice Recognition and Others), Services, ... forecast to 2020", published by MarketsandMarkets, the global ... reach USD 22.65 Billion by 2020, at a ...
(Date:1/18/2016)... Jan. 18, 2016  Extenua Inc., a pioneering ... the use and access of ubiquitous on-premise and ... with American Cyber.  ... leading transformational C4ISR and Cyber initiatives in support ... latest proven technology solutions," said Steve Visconti ...
(Date:1/11/2016)... Calif. , Jan. 11, 2016 Synaptics ... human interface solutions, today announced that its ClearPad ® ... integration (TDDI) products won two separate categories in the ... Mobile Innovator and Best Technology Breakthrough. The Synaptics ® ... cost, a simplified supply chain, thinner devices, brighter displays ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):