Saturday, August 26, 2006

PNNL Researchers Reveal Bacterium's Ability to Process Uranium

Small Times: News about MEMS, Nanotechnology and Microsystems, By John Trumbo
Tri-City Herald
"Aug. 22, 2006 -- Pacific Northwest National Laboratory scientists have discovered Shewanella oneidensis bacteria's dirty little secret.
It oozes goo loaded with pearls of uraninite, said Jim Frederickson, chief scientist on the research project.
Shewanella bacteria have the remarkable ability to oxidize heavy metal uranium, converting the deadly byproduct of nuclear age processes at Hanford into less harmful uranium dioxide, or uraninite. Shewanella bacteria have the ability to 'breathe,' or reduce, metals the way human beings process oxygen."

Update: Link to the article, published in PLoS Biology.