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

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"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


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

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