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Thread: Can biotech clean up mercury poisoning?

  1. #1 Can biotech clean up mercury poisoning? 
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    Mercury poisoning has been an issue for decades, when it first affected a Japanese fishing village, and it remains an issue with our rivers.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/22/sc...ml?ref=science

    I'm wondering if microbes can be used to absorb the mercury and then somehow be processed so that what remains is something that can be buried. After all, there are extremophiles everywhere, and surely they can be put to good use.[/url]


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  3. #2  
    Forum Junior Zitterbewegung's Avatar
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    To my knowledge there are only 4 or 5 metallic elements that microbes can not incorporate in their metabolism and mercury is one of them IIRC. The other ones are Zinc, Silver and dunno.


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  4. #3  
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    But extremophiles might be able to do it. They can now live in battery acid.
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    Bacteria incorporate mercury just fine that's the problem, they metabolize ionic mercury, then it get's converted to methylmercury and get's consumed by fish and makes it's way up the food chain until it kills us lol.
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    Bacteria incorporate mercury just fine that's the problem, they metabolize ionic mercury, then it get's converted to methylmercury and get's consumed by fish and makes it's way up the food chain until it kills us lol.
    Can we get some way for the bacteria to soak up the mercury, then collect the bacteria and process it into something useful or at least not harmful?
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