Metal Taste Goood…Nom, Nom, Nom

ResearchBlogging.orgNew research out in Microbiology reports on a strain of the bacteria Brachybacterium (Mn32) that can remove toxic metal manganese from solution by oxidizing in into a manganese oxide.  This oxide then can absorb zinc and nickle ions three to four more times efficiently than that manganese oxide produced chemically.  The next step is to move tackling the hurdles to use such a process and bacteria in heavy metal bioremediation.  The bacteria were originally isolated in from sediment samples taken in the deep Pacific Ocean.  Just another way that deep-sea organisms may save your tail.

Wang, W., Shao, Z., Liu, Y., & Wang, G. (2009). Removal of multi-heavy metals using biogenic manganese oxides generated by a deep-sea sedimentary bacterium – Brachybacterium sp. strain Mn32 Microbiology, 155 (6), 1989-1996 DOI: 10.1099/mic.0.024141-0

Dr. M (1748 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, a National Science Foundation supported initiative. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web. His forthcoming book, Science of the South (, connects cultural icons of South such as pecan pie with the science behind them.

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