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Microbe Breaks Down Toxin in Water, Soil

November 02, 2002|From Times Wire Reports

A bacterium that thrives by feeding on a common pollutant may provide a means to help clean up contaminated soil and ground water.

The newly discovered microbe derives energy by degrading trichloroethane, or TCA, a widely used industrial solvent found at half of the contaminated U.S. Superfund sites, Michigan State University researchers reported in Friday's Science. The microbe, dubbed TCA1, breaks down trichloroethane to a less toxic substance, said biologist Baolin Sun.

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