Deep sea microbe populations are evolving in response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster, helping to digest the oil that continues to contaminate the Gulf of Mexico, according to a study published today (August 24) on the ScienceExpress website.
Bacteria on an oil drop (magnified 100x)
Image: © Science/AAAS
The findings provide tantalizing clues that the ocean is evolving in a way that will help it heal from the massive spill, but it's still early days, said biogeochemist linkurl:John Farrington; of the School of Marine Science and Technology at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, who was not involved in the research. "We shouldn't get all a warm fuzzy feeling that the problem has gone away," Farrington told The Scientist. Recent data out of the Gulf "are very exciting advances in our understanding of spilled oil in the ocean, but there's still a lot of work to be done." By sampling...
Oil droplets dispersed (magnified 100x)
Image: © Science/AAAS

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?