Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

World-first Technology Enables Study Of Ancient Bacteria; Sustainable Energy Source Could Solve Bermuda Triangle Riddle

Date:
June 7, 2005
Source:
Cardiff University
Summary:
Experts at Cardiff University, UK, have designed world-first technology to investigate sustainable energy sources from the ocean bed by isolating ancient high-pressure bacteria from deep sediments. Their findings could also help solve the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle.

Experts at Cardiff University, UK, have designed world-first technology to investigate sustainable energy sources from the ocean bed by isolating ancient high-pressure bacteria from deep sediments.

Scientists and engineers at Cardiff University are investigating bacteria from deep sediments which despite high pressures (greater than 1,000 atmospheres), gradually increasing temperatures (from an icy 2C to over 100C), great depth (several kilometres) and age (many millions of years) may contain most of the bacteria on Earth.

Some of these bacteria produce methane that accumulates in "gas hydrates" – a super concentrated methane ice that contains more carbon than all conventional fossil fuels and, therefore, a potentially enormous energy source. However, we know little about gas hydrates as they melt during recovery due to the fall in pressure.

Professor R. John Parkes, of the School of Earth, Ocean and Planetary Sciences at Cardiff University, is leading part of a major European Union project, called HYACINTH which is developing systems to recover gas hydrates and bacteria under high pressure.

He has turned to experts in the University's Manufacturing Engineering Centre to help create a system that would enable his team to grow, isolate and study these ancient bacteria in the laboratory.

"DNA analysis of deep sediments has shown diverse bacterial populations, including major new types, but we have been unable to culture them and this might be because we have not been able to keep them at the very high pressures which they need to survive," said Professor Parkes.

The Manufacturing Engineering Centre in the School of Engineering has helped design and produce a high-pressure system, which is the first of its kind in the world.

Using titanium and stainless steel alloys, and sapphire windows, the Centre's experts have built an isolation system, as well as a special cutting chamber to enable scientists to take precise sediment samples and grow bacteria from them at pressures as high as 1,000 atmospheres. A special ram for the system was produced by the Technical University, Berlin.

As well as studying potentially the deepest organisms on Earth this research might also throw light on the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle by finding out more about the behaviour of the mysterious hydrates.

One theory now suggests that when the covering of "methane ice" which exists over much of the seabed of the Bermuda Triangle becomes unstable; this causes instability of the sea and an explosive mixture of air and methane above. Any ships or planes travelling over the area could sink or catch fire.

"So ancient, deep-sediment bacteria may be a key to sustainable energy in the future and to explaining a few disasters," said Professor Parkes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cardiff University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cardiff University. "World-first Technology Enables Study Of Ancient Bacteria; Sustainable Energy Source Could Solve Bermuda Triangle Riddle." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 June 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050607001708.htm>.
Cardiff University. (2005, June 7). World-first Technology Enables Study Of Ancient Bacteria; Sustainable Energy Source Could Solve Bermuda Triangle Riddle. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050607001708.htm
Cardiff University. "World-first Technology Enables Study Of Ancient Bacteria; Sustainable Energy Source Could Solve Bermuda Triangle Riddle." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050607001708.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Hoping to break the record for world's wooliest, Shaun the sheep came up 10 pounds shy with his fleece weighing over 50 pounds after being shorn for the first time in years. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) Canadian scientists looking into the very first land animals took a fish out of water and forced it to walk. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fake Dogs Scare Real Geese from Wis. Park

Fake Dogs Scare Real Geese from Wis. Park

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Parks officials in Stevens Point, Wisconsin had a fowl problem. Canadian Geese were making a mess of a park, so officials enlisted cardboard versions of man's best friend. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins