Blog search results for Tag: marine-biology

Sustainability & Environment

Scientists have discovered dozens of new microbes that could be used to limit atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, and potentially clean up oil spills.

sea life

Scientists have discovered new microbes in the deep-sea which can use greenhouse gases, such as methane and butane, as energy sources. These new microbes could help reduce the concentration of these gases in our atmosphere and have the potential to be used to clean up oil spills in the future.

sea creature

Originally posted by chalkandwater

The deep-sea is one of the Earth’s most unexplored areas. Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin’s Marine Science Institute have published findings from an extensive documentation of microbial communities living in the hot, deep-sea sediments of the Guaymas Basin in the Gulf of California, US. 

They found new microbes, vastly different genetically from any found before, that possess the same ability to ‘eat’ pollutant-chemicals as previously identified microbes.

 gulf of mexico oil spill

A view of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill from the International Space Station. Image: Wikimedia Commons

The scientists analysed sediment from 2000m below the surface for genomic data. At this depth, volcanic activity causes high temperatures – around 200°C – and the water contains many hydrocarbons such as methane and butane, which can be used as energy sources for bacteria.