Monday, October 05, 2009

E.Coli Bacteria to Be Used to Clean Up Nuclear Waste and Harvest Uranium

If it is true that E.coli may potentially be used to clean up our nuclear (not nookular) waste, then this is viable project. However, a childhood of reading Marvel comics makes me fear all things radiation, so I have concerns that this will produce some type of mutated super E.coli that will take over the planet considering that regular E.coli is still killing and paralyzing people for simply eating a grilled backyard hamburger.

Using bacteria and inositol phosphate, a chemical analogue of a cheap waste material from plants, researchers at Birmingham University have recovered uranium from the polluted waters from uranium mines. The same technology can also be used to clean up nuclear waste...

Bacteria, in this case, E. coli, break down a source of inositol phosphate (also called phytic acid), a phosphate storage material in seeds, to free the phosphate molecules. The phosphate then binds to the uranium forming a uranium phosphate precipitate on the bacterial cells that can be harvested to recover the uranium.

Source: Science Daily

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