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Value of unlocking genetic secrets of certain bacteria


Narrator:             This is Science Today. Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have unlocked the genetic secrets of a sulfate-eating bacteria that will lay the foundation for understanding how it plays a role in industrial activity. Staff scientist Aindrila Mukhopadhyay says that this kind of foundational research is important for informing better field practices for large-scale processes pertinent to energy, be it related to petroleum piping or managing toxic waste.

Mukhopdhyay:    These organisms can reduce metals that cause corrosion of pipelines. This is a lot of investment on the part of humans to develop these infrastructures and if you are naïve about the microbial processes that are at play, you are setting yourself up for a lot of loss because you think it's a sterile environment. There's a lot of benefit to understanding that environment, just to anticipate what's coming.

Narrator:             This bacteria has also been identified for its relevance to environmental transformation applications.  For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.