Scientists find bacteria that dines on harmful greenhouse gases

These methane-eating bacteria could help take in unwanted pollutants.


NSFW    #Science #Oceans #Bacteria
AUSTIN, TEXAS — Scientists have found several new types of sea-borne microbes that could eat oil and other pollutants.

Some of the newly discovered species use hydrocarbons, such as methane and butane, as energy sources, according to a University of Texas at Austin news release.

The researchers used the Alvin deep-sea submersible and collected 551 genomes. As many as 22 of those were said to be new species.

The microbes found within the Guaymas Basin in the Gulf of California. They were living in hot, deep-sea sediments located 2,000 meters below the surface. Temperatures can rise up to 200 degrees Celsius at this depth due to volcanic activity.

Brett Baker, a scientist involved in the research, explained there are huge reservoirs of hydrocarbon gases under the ocean floor. He explained these microbes help prevent greenhouse gases from being released into the atmosphere. Baker added that there is much-unexplored biodiversity in the deep oceans.
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