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:5/25/2016)... Bangkok, Thailand (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 ... ... the participation of a Thai delegation at BIO 2016 in San Francisco. Located ... private sector will be available to answer questions and discuss the Thai biotechnology ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... WEDI, the nation’s leading authority on the use ... W. Stellar has been named by the WEDI Board of Directors as WEDI’s president ... executive leader with more than 35 years of experience in healthcare, association management and ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... La Jolla, CA (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2016 , ... ... and financial planning for corporate executives and entrepreneurs, held The Future of San Diego ... leaders in the San Diego life science community attended the event with speakers Dr. ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Oxitec CEO Hadyn ... at 10:15 a.m. ET before the United States House Committee ... mosquitos can play in controlling the spread of the ... virus.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150630/227348 ) ... a self-limiting gene. Trials in Brazil , ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:3/15/2016)... New York , March 15, 2016 ... new market report published by Transparency Market Research "Digital Door ... Trends and Forecast 2015 - 2023," the global digital door ... US$ 731.9 Mn in 2014 and is forecast to grow ... 2023. Growth of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) across ...
(Date:3/14/2016)... , Allemagne, March 14, 2016 ... http://www.apimages.com ) - --> - Renvoi : ... - --> --> ... solutions biométriques, fournit de nouveaux lecteurs d,empreintes digitales ... LF10 de DERMALOG sera utilisé pour produire des ...
(Date:3/10/2016)... -- --> --> ... Access Management Market by Component (Provisioning, Directory Services, Password ... Size, by Deployment, by Vertical, and by Region - ... is estimated to grow from USD 7.20 Billion in ... Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 12.2% during the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):