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:4/15/2016)... , April 15, 2016 ... the,  "Global Gait Biometrics Market 2016-2020,"  report to ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160330/349511LOGO ) , ,The global gait biometrics ... of 13.98% during the period 2016-2020. ... angles, which can be used to compute factors ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... RATON, Florida , March 31, 2016 ... LEGX ) ("LegacyXChange" or the "Company") ... for potential users of its soon to be launched ... video ( https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyTLBzmZogV1y2D6bDkBX5g ) will also provide ... the use of DNA technology to an industry that ...
(Date:3/23/2016)... WAKEFIELD, Massachusetts , March 23, 2016 ... kombiniert im Interesse erhöhter Sicherheit Gesichts- und ... Xura, Inc. (NASDAQ: MESG ... heute bekannt, dass das Unternehmen mit SpeechPro ... insbesondere aus der Finanzdienstleistungsbranche, wird die Möglichkeit ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/29/2016)... New York , April 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... report published by Transparency Market Research "Separation Systems ... Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2015 - ... was valued at US$ 10,665.5 Mn in 2014 ... of 6.8% from 2015 to 2023 to reach ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... TURIN, Italy , April 29, 2016 ... version 5.11, the latest update to its industry-leading treatment ... has shown that Monaco version ... Users can now attain calculation speeds up to four ... Monaco . With the industry,s gold standard ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... April 28, 2016 , ... ... deliver a talk on its first-in-class technologies for tissue stem cell counting and ... on RNAiMicroRNA Biology to Reprogramming & CRISPR-based Genome Engineering in Burlington, Massachusetts. , ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... April 27, 2016 , ... ... of cannabis testing technology at the Spring 2016 Marijuana Business Conference and Expo. ... pesticides, residual solvents, heavy metals, and more. Expo attendees can stop by booth ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: