Helping chlorine-eating bacteria clean up toxic waste

Cornell researchers hope to learn how certain bacteria that break down pollutants do their job and then to make them more effective in cleaning up toxic wastes.

Bacteria called Dehalococcoides ethenogenes, discovered in Ithaca sewage sludge in 1997 by James Gossett, Cornell professor of civil and environmental engineering, and isolated and studied by Stephen Zinder, Cornell professor of microbiology, are now in wide use to detoxify such carcinogenic chemicals as perchloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE). They do this by removing chlorine atoms from molecules and leaving less-toxic compounds behind.

But D. ethenogenes strains work well at some sites and not so well at others, and nobody knows for sure why. In fact, very little is understood about how these organisms live and breathe. Normal laboratory procedures haven't provided enough answers, because the bacteria are hard to grow in a petri dish, said Ruth Richardson, Cornell assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, who is following up on Gossett's and Zinder's work, in continued collaboration with them.

She is partnering with Gene Network Sciences (GNS), a firm specializing in computer simulation of biochemical processes, to create computer models of the inner workings of the bacterium. The project is funded by a three-year, $381,000 grant from the Department of Defense, which has some 6,000 toxic-dump sites of its own to clean up.

Richardson explained that in the field "the bacteria sometimes start and then stop. We might improve conditions for the organisms." For example, she said, it has been found that Dehalococcoides needs vitamin B-12, so the vitamin is added to cultures that are injected into cleanup sites. The bacterium also grows better in a mixed community with other kinds of bacteria. "There are some factors it needs from other organisms, and we don't know yet what they are," she said.

Her laboratory will test the D. ethen

Contact: Press Relations Office
Cornell University News Service

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Helping muscle regenerate
2. Helping in a selfish world
3. Helping the body heal itself: Regenerative medicine to be discussed at UH
4. In limiting life span, study finds booming bacteria innocent
5. Cornell scientists link E. coli bacteria to Crohns disease
6. Pets could be source of multiresistant bacteria infections in humans, MU researchers investigate
7. Researchers watch antibiotics, bacteria meet at atomic level
8. A new plant-bacterial symbiotic mechanism promising
9. Piecing together the cyanobacteria puzzle
10. New research shows vaginal bacteria vary among healthy women, need customized treatment
11. New way to target and kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria found

Post Your Comments:

(Date:4/17/2017)... -- NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or ... 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K on Thursday April 13, 2017 ... ... Investor Relations section of the Company,s website at http://www.nxt-id.com  under ... http://www.sec.gov . 2016 Year Highlights: ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 11, 2017 Crossmatch®, a globally-recognized leader ... today announced that it has been awarded a ... Activity (IARPA) to develop next-generation Presentation Attack Detection ... "Innovation has been a driving force within Crossmatch ... allow us to innovate and develop new technologies ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 11, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ:   ... announces the appointment of independent Directors Mr. Robin D. ... Board of Directors, furthering the company,s corporate governance and expertise. ... Gino Pereira , ... forward to their guidance and benefiting from their considerable expertise ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... They call ... complex biological network, a depiction of a system of linkages and connections so ... PhD, associate professor of computer science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and director ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... JOHNSTON, Iowa (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 ... ... company based in Vilnius, Lithuania, announced today that they have entered into a ... collaboration is to provide CRISPR researchers with additional tools for gene editing across ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... BioMedGPS announces expanded coverage of SmartTRAK ... module, US Hemostats & Sealants. , SmartTRAK’s US Market for Hemostats and Sealants ... sealants and biologic sealants used in surgical applications. BioMedGPS estimates the market will ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, ... ... ) has launched Rosalind™, the first-ever genomics analysis platform specifically designed for ... complexity. Named in honor of pioneering researcher Rosalind Franklin, who made a ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: