HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Munching microbes could cleanse arsenic-contaminated groundwater

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Microbial processes ultimately determine whether arsenic builds to dangerous levels in groundwater, say researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Remediation may be as simple as stimulating certain microbes to grow.

Arsenic contamination is a serious threat to human health. In the Ganges Delta of Bangladesh, for example, chronic exposure to arsenic has been linked to serious medical conditions, including hypertension, cardiovascular disease and a variety of cancers.

"The threat extends to Central Illinois, where there are very high levels of arsenic contamination in a number of wells," said Craig Bethke, a professor of geology at Illinois and corresponding author of a paper to appear in the November issue of the journal Geology. "We also discovered important links between the amount of organic material dissolved in the groundwater and the concentrations of sulfate and arsenic."

The researchers analyzed water from 21 wells at various depths in the Mahomet aquifer, a regional water supply for Central Illinois. "The Mahomet aquifer was produced by a glacier, which pulverized and homogenized the sediments," Bethke said. "As a result, arsenic sources that leach into the groundwater are pretty uniformly distributed."

Surprisingly, however, arsenic concentration varied strongly from well to well, Bethke said. "Concentrations may reach hundreds of micrograms per liter in one well which is enough to make people very sick but fall below detection limits in a nearby well."

The concentration of arsenic varied inversely with the concentration of sulfate, the researchers found. Methane concentration also varied with the sulfate content. "We believe this reflects the distribution of microbial populations in the aquifer system," said graduate student Matthew Kirk. "Our analyses suggest the aquifer is divided into zones of mixed microbial activity, some dominated by sulfate-reducing bacteria, others by me
'"/>

Contact: James E. Kloeppel
kloeppel@uiuc.edu
217-244-1073
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
26-Oct-2004


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Bigelow Laboratory Scientists develop new approach to study marine microbes
2. Study finds fecal microbes high in New Orleans sediments following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
3. Genomics throws species definition in question for microbes
4. Darwins famous finches and Venters marine microbes
5. Vitamin D3 provides the skin with protection from harmful microbes
6. Hidden-hero microbes in soil, water may help naturally clean toxic sites
7. Relative abundance of common microbes living in the gut may contribute to obesity
8. New text focuses on microbes in the mouth
9. Diversity promotes cooperation among microbes
10. Using microbes to fuel the US hydrogen economy
11. Tight-knit family: Even microbes favor their own kin

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/19/2016)... -- The new GEZE SecuLogic access control ... system solution for all door components. It can be ... interface with integration authorization management system, and thus fulfills ... dimensions of the access control and the optimum integration ... considerable freedom of design with regard to the doors. ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the ...  report to their offering.  ,      ... gait biometrics market is expected to grow at ... Gait analysis generates multiple variables such ... compute factors that are not or cannot be ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... CHICAGO , April 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians ... are setting a new clinical standard in telehealth ... By leveraging the higi platform, IMPOWER patients can ... weight, pulse and body mass index, and, when they ... quick and convenient visit to a local retail location ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2016)... , May 26, 2016 Despite ... see value in this space. Today,s pre-market research on ActiveWallSt.com ... Radius Health Inc. (NASDAQ: RDUS ), Cerus Corp. ... ARWR ), and Five Prime Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ... technical briefings at: http://www.activewallst.com/ ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... company, today announced several positive developments that position the Company for the future. ... of the transaction, Craig F. Kinghorn has been appointed Chairman of the Board, ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Lajollacooks4u has become a rising ... been rated one of its top attractions. Fortune 500 companies, such as Illumina, ... a unique and intimate team-building experience. , Each event kicks off with an olive ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... The ... fracture-specific plating options designed to address fractures of the distal tibia and fibula. ... The Acumed Ankle Plating System 3 is composed of seven plate families that ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: