Quirks & Quarks Bacteria that Breathe Antimony

Quirks & Quarks Bacteria that Breathe Antimony

Most organisms breathe oxygen and use it to turn their food into usable energy, through the process of respiration. But some bacteria can respire other elements instead of oxygen, including many that are toxic to us. Chris Abin, a PhD candidate at the University of Georgia, has found what may be the first microbe ever discovered that can breathe a toxic heavy metal called antimony. During respiration, the microbe converts antimony into a far less toxic form that can be used to make products, ranging from fire retardants to water bottles. Abin and his colleagues hope that the new microbe may also be used industrially to reduce or clean up antimony pollution.

  • 2014
  • 00:08:16
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 02/10/2014
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Antimony [LCSH] Bioremediation [LCSH] Microbial respiration [LCSH] Science [LCSH] Biology [LCSH] Environmental sciences [LCSH]
Torah Kachur (Host), Jim Handman (Producer), Emily Chung (Producer), Jim Lebans (Producer)
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