Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Engineered bacteria mop up mercury spills

Date:
August 12, 2011
Source:
BioMed Central Limited
Summary:
Thousands of tons of toxic mercury are released into the environment every year. Much of this collects in sediment where it is converted into toxic methyl mercury, and enters the food chain ending up in the fish we eat. New research showcases genetically engineered bacteria which are not only able to withstand high levels of mercury but are also able to mop up mercury from their surroundings.

Thousands of tons of toxic mercury are released into the environment every year. Much of this collects in sediment where it is converted into toxic methyl mercury, and enters the food chain ending up in the fish we eat. New research, published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Biotechnology, showcases genetically engineered bacteria which are not only able to withstand high levels of mercury but are also able to mop up mercury from their surroundings.

Related Articles


These mercury-resistant bacteria, developed by researchers from Inter American University of Puerto Rico, Bayamon Campus, contained either the mouse gene for metallothionein or the bacterial gene for polyphosphate kinase. Both strains of bacteria were able to grow in very high concentrations (120M) of mercury, and when the bacteria containing metallothionein were grown in a solution containing 24 times the dose of mercury which would kill non-resistant bacteria, they were able to remove more than 80% of it from the solution in five days.

Dr Ruiz who led the research said, "The inclusion of heavy metal scavenging molecules in bacteria provides a viable technology for mercury bioremediation. This method not only would allow us to clean up mercury spills from the environment but the high accumulation of mercury within the transgenic bacteria also provides the possibility of recycling it for further industrial applications."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Oscar N Ruiz, Derry Alvarez, Gloriene Gonzalez-Ruiz and Cesar Torres. Characterization of mercury bioremediation by transgenic bacteria expressing metallothionein and polyphosphate kinase. BMC Biotechnology, 2011 [link]

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central Limited. "Engineered bacteria mop up mercury spills." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110811201523.htm>.
BioMed Central Limited. (2011, August 12). Engineered bacteria mop up mercury spills. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110811201523.htm
BioMed Central Limited. "Engineered bacteria mop up mercury spills." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110811201523.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) A study from University of Michigan researchers found that expectant fathers see a decrease in testosterone as the baby's birth draws near. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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