Bacteria eating oil spilled into Gulf of Mexico

LA Times:

As efforts continue to clean the oil that gushed from the blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico, a team of scientists has found that nature's microbial helpers are hard at work too — and doing a better job than researchers had expected.

Data collected in May and June showed populations of carbon-eating bacteria were increasing in parts of a plume of oil drifting in deep water in the gulf, said lead author Terry Hazen, head of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's ecology department.

"Within the last few weeks we've gone back and can find bacteria … but do not see detectable oil," Hazen said. The most likely reason, he added, is that the voracious bugs ate it.

Now, he said, "since they no longer have the oil, they're eating their [dead] brethren."

...
They need to find how to duplicate this bacteria and have it ready for the next spill. I am sure the greens will come up with an argument against these guys, but it is too early to tell which direction they will go with it.

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