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New bacteria can clean Patancheru

04 December 2010

HYDERABAD: The discovery of a new species of bacterium that eats away the highly poisonous arsenic from the soil can solve the problem of arsenic poisoning in pollution hotspots, including Patancheru in the city.

On Wednesday, Nasa had announced that the new bacterium not only survives on arsenic but also incorporates the killer element into its genetic material.

The discovery of the arsenic-eating bacterium has been hailed by scientists in Hyderabad, and they hope the problem of ground water and soil pollution by arsenic can be solved in a “natural way.”

“It is possible that the bacterium can bring down arsenic to non-toxic levels. Once the arsenic levels in water and soil are brought down, arsenic can be obtained from the bacterium through bio-accumulation and extraction,” the senior CCMB scientist, Dr S. Shivaji, who also heads the Lacones project, said.

Earlier, a team led by Dr Shivaji had discovered three species of arsenic-tolerant bacteria in West Bengal and had named them Bacillus indicus, B arsenicus and Deinococcus indicus. “We do not know how different the Nasa-discovered bacterium is from the ones we had found in West Bengal. But these bacteria can bring down the arsenic content to less toxic levels,” he said……

Read more: http://www.deccanchronicle.com/hyderabad/new-bacteria-can-clean-patancheru-783

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Written by csirindia

December 5, 2010 at 12:38 pm

Posted in CCMB

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