Microbes and Pollution Remedies News

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This file includes links to papers published by Eubios Ethics Institute, and some other organizations, in the first section. Next it includes topical extracts from EJAIB and EEIN between January 1994 - 2006 (older news items are in separate files). Last date of updating is referenced in the main News page. Latest news and papers is at the bottom of each of the two sections.

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A bacterial system to remove heavy metals including radioactive compounds from water is being promoted by a British company; GEN (1 Nov 1993), 1, 21. The Citrobacter species have been tested on uranium, and act by a combination of bio-accumulation (metals accumulate inside cells, which are resistant to their toxic effects) and biosorption (metals stick to cell surfaces). With the dismantling of weapons a large stockpile of plutonium is building up, with questions of where it will go, New Scientist (2 Oct, 1993), 7. A review of toxic waste deposits is in New Scientist (11 Dec, 1993), 38-42. In Queensland when one company said it would return the local environment to the original state, rather than barren hills, the local community has stopped them doing so, New Scientist (13 Nov, 1993), 6.

Genetic improvement of E. coli for enhanced biological removal of phosphate from waste water is reported in Appl. Env. Micro. 59 (1993), 3744-9; and on engineering to improve biodegradation of pollutants, B.D. Erickson & F.J. Mondello, "Enhanced biodegradation of polychlorinated biphenyls after site-directed mutagenesis of a biphenyl dioxygenase gene", Appl. Env. Micro. 59 (1993), 3852-62. The use of bacteria in mining and agriculture is also growing, GEN (15 Oct 1993), 10, 24; and on separation of phosphate ores see Biotechnology 11 (1993), 1250-4. The use of an insect gene for degrading toxic chemicals is discussed in New Scientist (16 Oct, 1993), 16; and the use of a tree from India in Nature 366 (1993), 779. A biological catalysis system for desulphurizing hydrocarbons is another target of research, GEN (15 Oct 1993), 20, 23; Amer. Society of Microbiology News 59 (1993), 387-8.

A letter on the subject of US bioremediation policy, and on the EPA research, is Biotechnology 12 (1994), 8. A series of papers in French on biotechnology and the environment is in Biofutur (Dec 1993), 6, 12-28. A review of the leaching of metals with fungi is J. Biotechnology 27 (1993), 91-116.

A review paper is D.P. Barr & S.D. Aust, "Mechanism white rot fungi use to degrade pollutants", EST 28 (1994), 78-87. These fungi use nonspecific mechanisms which allow them to degrade complex mixtures. A review of industrial waste processing is M.G. Roig et al., "Principles of biotechnological treatment of industrial wastes", Critical Reviews in Biotechnology 13 (1993), 99-116. The metabolism of polyhalogenated compounds by a genetically engineered bacterium is reported in a paper in Nature 368 (1994), 627-9.

A paper describing some of the the Alaskan experiments is J.R. Bragg et al., "Effectiveness of bioremediation for the Exxon Valdez oil spill", Nature 368 (1994), 413-8, 396-7. A series of papers on bioremediation was published in TIBTECH 11 (1993), 317-372, as reported previously. One of these papers looked at the effect of regulations on the future development, S.M. Day, "US environmental regulations and policies - their impact on the commercial development of bioremediation", TIBTECH 11 (1993), 324-8.

The problem of plutonium waste is described in New Scientist (19 Feb 1994), 34-7, (26 Feb 1994), 14-5; Science 263 (1994), 912. Bacteria that can degrade mustard gas have been isolated by the US Army, and other bacteria for nerve gas disposal are also being tested; New Scientist (26 Feb 1994), 10-1. They may be better than waste incinerators. The use of microbes for mining is discussed in Biotechnology 12 (1994), 328.

The use of biomining is reviewed in Science 264 (1994), 778-9. Not only is it environmentally more favourable, but also proving cheaper and enabling the extraction of metals from low grade ores. It has long been used for copper, and is also being used for gold and phosphate. Mercury pollution in Brazil, largely the result of gold mining, is discussed in Nature 369 (1994), 613-4; see also Ambio 23 (1994), 166. The pollution may also help deforestation, Nature 368 (1994), 816-7.

A general comment on "Ecologically sustainable biotechnology" is Biotechnology 12 (1994), 544; Acta Biotechnology 12: 2. Microbes to degrade crop waste more efficiently in biofuels present hope for alternatives to fossil fuels. A mutant Bacillus stearothermophilus that degrades hemicellulose into ethanol has been reported, Science 264 (1994), 657. The EPA in the USA is requiring polluted cities to sell gasoline with higher oxygen content, from 1995, which will probably mean ethanol, since some should be from renewable sources. Disposal of old paper by bacteria is discussed in BMJ 308 (1994), 1046.

A cocktail of microorganisms to degrade mixed pollutants is described in Science 264 (1994), 902-3. This particular case is to degrade the herbicide atrazine, a chlorinated herbicide often used on corn fields. The mix of three unidentified microorganisms reportedly makes no metabolites.

A move by 15 island nations in the Pacific to ban imports of hazardous wastes into the region has been made, New Scientist (7 May 1994), 12. Parties to the Basel Convention in Geneva have agreed to ban all exports of hazardous waste to developing countries and the former USSR. The ban for final disposal is immediate, and the ban for recycling from the end of 1997. A paper on the waste trade in general is The Ecologist 24 (1994), 53-8.

A review is R.G. Luthy et al., "Remediating tar-contaminated soils at manufactured gas plant sites. Technological challenges", EST 28 (1994), 266-76. Electrochemical remediation is discussed in EST 28 (1994), 289-91. A variety of fungi can decompose polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, Bioresource Technology 48: 97-106.

A low cost food additive mixture that can help eat oil spills is reported in New Scientist (25 June 1994), 22. Also on oil spills, Nature 370 (1994), 244. Use of tobacco to fight pollution is in New Scientist (16 July 1994), 20.

A discussion of gender equality in employment with hazardous wastes is in Insights on Global Ethics (Sept), 6. BMW, Fiat and Renault have agreed to recycle each others vehicles in efforts to reduce pollution, EST 28 (1994), 306.

A commentary on environmentally correct biotechnology is in Biotechnology 12 (1994), 850. The detection of viruses in water is important in wastewater treatment, and a DNA-based system is Puig, M. et al. "Detection of adenoviruses and enteroviruses in polluted waters by nested PCR amplification", Appl. Env. Micro. 60 (1994), 2963-70.

The Dept. of Energy has suggested more research into clean-up of polluted sites (e.g. military sites) before doing the full-scale clean up, Nature 371 (1994), 641. A letter on bioremediation of the Exxon Valdez is Nature 371 (1994), 97. Some studies on clean-up are in EST 28 (1994), 466A-470A, 471A+.

A review of current research projects in bioremediation in USA and on whether it can clean up central Europe is GEN (1 Oct 1994), 8-11. It is also being used to clear up some of the polluted land in Kuwait, GEN (Dec 1994), 44. A report on the Alaskan oil spill is Wolfe, D.A. "The fate of the oil spilled from the Exxon Valdez", EST 28 (1994), 561-8A. Reports on the large Russian Arctic oil spill suggest it may take much time to recover, New Scientist (5 Nov 1994), 8-9.

The use of bacteria to purify runoff which poisons rivers is being recommended in the UK, especially around old mines, New Scientist (8 Oct 1994), 25. A review of the proposed large-scale Japanese ecological projects is Science 266 (1994), 1188. The use of enzymes to make paper is being expanded by genetic engineering. This will avoid some of the pollution caused by chemicals in pulp and paper making, GEN (1 Nov 1994), 1, 10-11. The role of industrial ecology in biotechnology to help sustainibility is discussed in Biotech 13 (1995), 31-4.

A study finding PCBs remain in polluted eels over long periods when moved into clean environments is de Boer, J. et al. "8-year study on the elimination of PCBs and other organochlorine compounds from eel (Anguilla anguilla) under natural conditions", EST 28 (1994), 2242-8.

A social study review of 178 papers is White, G.F. et al. "Socioeconomic studies of high-level nuclear waste disposal", PNAS 91 (1994),, 10786-9. A toxic dispute over Stanford wastes has resulted in a US$1 million settlement; Science 266 (1994), 213. Environmental audit reports are discussed in Biotech 13 (1995), 44-5. A study by the California EPA on comparative risk of environmental hazards and planning for the future is reviewed in Science 266 (1994), 214. One controversy is their inclusion of social welfare risks, from anxiety - a welcome inclusion for ethics but not for some industry reviewers.

A new report from the OECD is Biotechnology for a Clean Environment. Prevention, Detection, Remediation (OECD, 1994, 201pp. It is much broader than microorganisms, and covers the results of several meetings of a Group of Experts held in 1993. It reviews the technology, and current status of use, and half of the report looks at economic and industrial aspects. One of the conclusions is that the extent of use of biotechnology and environmental use is determined by regulations. It also calls for more biological knowledge among engineers.

A review is Ramos, J.L. et al. "The behavior of bacteria designed for biodegradation", Biotechnology 12 (1994), 1349-56. One of the tricks is to include regulatory genes that mean once a pollutant is removed, the bacteria will die. Commercial research is reviewed in Biotechnology 12 (1994), 1338-40; 13: 105. Also see Science 267 (1995), 41-2, for use of bacteria for soil decontamination. Removal of Zn and Mn from soil is reported in EST 29 (1995), 64A.

The use of modified rumen bacteria to detoxify food components is shown in Gregg, K. et al. "Detoxification of the plant toxin fluoroacetate by a genetically modified rumen bacterium", Biotechnology 12 (1994), 1361-5.

Problems in the treaty to dispose of waste are discussed in New Scientist (18 Feb, 1995), 3, 4, 12-3. A review of the OECD report on biotechnology for a clean environment, mentioned last issue, is in GEN (15 Feb 1995), 24. They predict a US$75 billion market by the year 2000.

Bacteria and fungi to degrade rubbish are already found in great numbers at rubbish sites, but better ones are being sought, New Scientist (25 Feb, 1995), 20. The search for bacteria that can extract and crystalise gold is reported in New Scientist (28 Jan, 1995), 19.

The dangers of chemical weapon shells exploding before their destruction, thus leaking before the final disposal in 2004, is discussed in New Scientist (28 Jan, 1995), 11.

Pollution causing health problems in Russia is causing public concerns, Lancet 345 (1995), 1106. The Bhopal Union Carbide chemical disaster is still causing problems, SA (June), 16-7. The oil leak in Arctic Russia is still causing pollution, and efforts to control it are reported in Science 268 (1995), 796-7. The North Sea is also suffering from oil pollution, NS (6 May 1995), 4. A review of methods to clear oil: Atlas, R.M. & Cerniglia, C.E. "Bioremediation of petroleum pollutants", BioScience 45 (1995), 332-8.

Toxic waste disposal is discussed in SA (June 1995), 28-9; IDHL 46 (1995), 101-6; NS (25 March 1995), 5. A method to remove toxic metals is reviewed in Salt, D.E. et al. "Phytoremediation: A novel strategy for the removal of toxic metals from the environment using plants", Biotechnology 13 (1995), 468-74. Detergent component substitution of sodium tripolyphosphate is judged to have had an insignificant effect in Ambio 24 (1995), 112+. Biodegradability tests are debated in Biol. Rev. 70 (1995), 243-75.

A review of the use of microorganisms in copper, uranium and gold mining is Rawlings, D.E. & Silver, S. "Mining with microbes", Biotechnology 13 (1995), 773-8. Plants also may have a direct role in metal cleanup, Science 269 (1995), 302-3.

The question of deep sea metal disposal is debated in Nature 376 (1995), 715. It is an important question, what to do with old oil rigs, which are hazards to shipping (which could result in more metal and lives being sunk).

Bioremediation is discussed in Science 268 (1995), 1119; 269 (1995), 473; EST 29 (1995), 253A, 306A, 1425-35. The pollution may also be natural compounds, Schnoor, J.L. et al. "Phytoremediation of organic and nutrient contaminants", EST 29 (1995), 318-23A. On the Alaskan oil spill dispute, Science 269 (1995), 159. A finding in Kuwait that oil degrades around roots of many plants because of associated microorganisms, Nature 376 (1995), 302.

A fungal remediation system by attachment to polyurethane is described in AEM 61 (1995), 1833-8; EST 29 (1995), 392A. A group of US companies and departments are attempting to develop methods to degrade chlorinated solvents, EST 29 (1995), 402A. A survey of the global distribution of persistent organochlorine compounds is Science 269 (1995), 180+. On the fate of oxygenated hydrocarbons in the troposphere, Nature 378 (1995), 50-4. Atmospheric methyl bromide has been found to rapidly degrade in soil, suggesting an atmospheric half life of 0.8 years, Nature 377 (1995), 717.

A UK panel has been established to judge on the dangers of deep sea disposal of old oil rigs, Nature 377 (1995), 670; though in the US Gulf Coast it is accepted, EST 29 (1995), 406A. Reversal of lake acidification using addition of a phosphate fertiliser has been conducted in a UK lake, Nature 377 (1995), 505-7. An EPA study has recommended no new acid rain standard, EST 29 (1995), 464-6A.

Legal issues of remediation are discussed in Modern Law Review 58 (1995), 615-36.

The international economic markets for bioremediation are reviewed in GEN (15 Oct 1995), 6-9; GEN (1 Nov 1995), 38-9. A list of European and Canadian companies working on the technology includes about 50 names; with a similar number in the USA. There are a few in Japan. Methods to identify and manipulate enzymes are reviewed in Trombly, J. "Engineering enzymes for better bioremediation", EST 29 (1995), 560-4A. The crystal structure of a biphenyl-cleaving extradiol dioxygenase from a PCB-degrading Pseudomonad is reported in Science 270 (1995), 976-80. On the toxicant responses of a genetically modified E.coli, AEM 61 (1995), 4124-7.

A review of methods to cleanup hazardous spills is in Occupational Health and Safety (Nov 1995), 58-62; and on the toxicity of chemicals, Alexander, M. "How toxic are toxic chemicals in soil?", EST 29 (1995), 2713-24. Shell oil company is facing boycotts in the UK over revelations of oil pollution in Nigeria, NS (25 Nov 1995), 3. Phytoremediation of contaminated soils uses either pollutant stabilization and containment or decontamination, TIBTECH 13 (1995), 393-7.

The use of engineered reed plant areas for wastewater treatment is reviewed from a conference in TIBTECH 13 (1995), 248-52. A review is Simonich, S.L. & Hites, R.A. "Organic pollutant accumulation in vegetation", EST 29 (1995), 2905-14. Off the coast of Scotland old chemical weapons have been washing up on the coast from ocean dumping, NS (18 Nov 1995), 16-7.

Levels of PCBs, dioxins and related compounds have been found on albatrosses living in Midway Island, in the Pacific, suggesting that these compounds are polluting the tropics as well as the Northern Hemisphere. The levels of 124 picograms per gram toxic equivalents is on the border for reproductive effects to be seen, EST 30 (1995), 15-6A. On chemical risk assessment, Science 271 (1996), 286-7; and designing safer chemicals, Yin H et al. "Designing safer chemicals: Predicting the rates of metabolism of halogenated alkanes", PNAS 92 (1995), 11076-80. The US inventory of dioxins may not have missing dioxin if uncertainty is included, EST 30 (1996), 82-5A; and on toxic release inventories, p. 86-91A.

A report in Nature 379 (17 Feb 1996); NS (17 Feb 1996), 17; reveals how plants can absorb and accumulate nickel from toxic metals, based on studies of Alyssum lesbiacum. Bioavailability of arsenic is discussed in EST 30 (1996), 392-9. The US EPA has increased the use of innovative cleanup methods, EST 30 (1996), 71A. The US Dept. of Energy is increasing efforts for cleanup of nuclear weapons complexes, Nature 379 (1996), 664; also, Science 271 (1996), 579.

A paper that may allow better remediation of explosives is Ramos, JL. et al. "Metabolism of nitrate esters by a consortium of two bacteria", Nature Biotechnology 14 (1996), 320-2.

The UK Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution has produced a report on the sustainable use of soil, including remediation; NS (9 March 1996), 5. A general comment is Biotechnology 13 (1995), 1144. In the UK some chemical wastes can be burnt in cement kilns due to relaxation of guidelines, NS (23 March 1996), 14-5. Analysis of the disposal of the UK Brent Spar oil drilling platform is in Nature 380 (1996), 13-4.

A comment that cleaned birds from oil spill in South Wales will probably not survive in the wild is NS (9 March 1996), 5. There is anger over the government's veto of a local harbourmaster's decision to two the ship out to sea to sink before it spilt 70,000 tonnes of oil, half of its cargo, NS (2 March 1996), 4-5; and the oil has reached Ireland, NS (20 April 1996), 8.

A reported silicon chip size bioassay test kit for detecting bacteria in water is being developed in the UK, NS (13 April 1996), 21. Cleaner ways to mine for gold are being developed, NS (6 April 1996), 11. Water quality of old mine pit lakes is discussed in EST 30 (1996), 118-23A. A method to predict cadmium concentration in animals in lakes is in Nature 380 (1996), 430-2.

Immunoassay techniques are being used to provide rapid and sensitive environmental pollution analysis, GEN (15 May 1996), 9, 20; EST 30 (1996), 244-5A. A series of papers on use of arbuscular mycorrhizae for environmental biotechnology are in Critical Reviews in Biotechnology 15 (1995), 179-320. A general review is Raskin, I. "Plant genetic engineering may help with environmental cleanup", PNAS 93 (1996), 3164-6.

A review of bioremediation of chromium is EST 30 (1996), 248-51A. Sunflowers are being promoted as a means to remove radionuclides from water, EST 30 (1996), 194A. Bioaccumulation of uranium is found to be due to an enzyme in Nature Biotechnology 14 (1996), 635-8. It has been found that photodegradation of methylmercury may be double the effect of external inputs of mercury, suggesting much mercury comes from the sediments, Nature 381 (1996), 694-7.

A UK report on the issue of deep sea disposal of oil rigs has remained neutral on the topic, Nature 381: 99, 358; Science 272 (1996), 1258-9; though saying that the impact of disposal of the Brent Spar oil rig would be similar to the wreckage of a large ship. The conversion of products into ethanol is reviewed in Duff, SJB & Murray, WD "Bioconversion of forest products industry waste Cellulosics to fuel ethanol: a review", Bioresource Technology 55 (1996), 1-33. On renewable energy, NS (8 June 1996), 18.

A chromosomal locus for copper resistance is described in Pseudomonas fluorescens, PNAS 93 (1996), 7315-20. On the transfer of heavy metals using plants, Moreno, JL. et al. "Transference of heavy metals from a calcareous soil amended with sewage sludge compost to barley plants", Bioresource Technology 55 (1996), 251-8. Starved bacteria may be effective in bioremediation, EST 30 (1996), 333A.

A report 6 months after the oil spill from the sea empress in south Wales suggests that there is still much oil, NS (10 August 1996), 6. A report from an environmental biotechnology conference suggests that interest has leveled off, EST 30 (1996), 335A. On the use of microorganisms in remediation, BioScience 46 (1996), 236-9.

On funding for a process to clean up oil, Science 274 (1996), 24; and on bioremediation research, Nature Biotechnology 14 (1996), 818, 1077. Risk-based remediation guidelines for cleaning oil spills were introduced by the American Society for Testing and Materials in 1994, EST 30 (1996), 438-41A. The limits of in situ bioremediation are reviewed in EST 30 (1996), 398-400A. The most badly contaminated waste areas in the USA have yet to be evaluated for the national clean-up list, EST 30 (1996), 437A. A review of bacteria that can live in radioactive waste dumps is NS (5 Oct. 1996), 42-5.

The nutrient load and marsh efficiency of wetlands to clean the water is reviewed in a Florida case in Ecological Engineering 7 (1996), 15-33; and in Czech case, pp. 1-14; and on choice of plants in a New Zealand study, pp. 59-83. A call for more complex evaluation of bioaccumulation factors in regulating metals is in EST 30 (1996), 448-52. The effects of cadmium on microorganisms was not mitigated by sewage in a Indian study, Bioresource Technology 56 (1996), 141-5. There are so many metals in some Russian soils in the Kola peninsula, from chimneys, that they could be mined, NS (28 Sept. 1996), 5; (12 Oct 1996), Inside Science Supplement, 1-4.
The US Department of Energy will spend $10 million in 1997 on research on bioremediation to help solve its multibillion-dollar pollution problem, Science 274 (15 Nov 1996), 1075. The Natural and Accelerated Bioremediation Research program (NABIR) is a 10-year effort to find pollutant-consuming microorganisms and plants that could detoxify metals, radionuclides, and radioactive mixtures at weapons sites owned by DOE. Eligible topics range from genetic engineering to microbial ecology and the dynamics of nutrient flow. It will also spend $500,000 to examine the societal aspects of bioremediation, including concerns about transgenics.

The UK also faces a huge toxic mess in the debris under 1500 oil rigs in the North Sea, NS (30 Nov 196), 26-9, (7 Dec 1996), 4. Gray, KA et al. "Molecular mechanisms of biocatalytic desulfurization of fossil fuels", Nature Biotechnology 14 (1996), 1705-9, describes the use of Rhodococcus species to remove sulfur compounds. A 400,000 tonne heavy metal sludge sill is affecting many farmers and persons in Bolivia, NS (23 Nov 1996), 4.

On bioremediation and phytoremediation, NatBio 15 (1997), 110, 127-8; NS (11 Jan, 1997), 16. Goel, A. et al. "Plant cell biodegradation of a xenobiotic nitrate ester, nitroglycerin", NatBio 15 (1997), 174-8. Improving decisions with risk analysis is analyzed in EST 31 (1997), 92A+. On bioremediation of uranium, Biotech. & Bioengineering 53 (1997), 100-9; and of explosives, NS (1 Feb, 1997), 19. The oil spill in the Japan Sea by Fukui is causing much harm to fish stocks, Nature 385 (1997), 191.

Two quarterly journals on environmental health are Journal of Ecotoxicology and Environmental Monitoring Quarterly (1996 is volume 6, ISSN 0971-0965) Ecobiology, (1996 is Volume 8, ISSN 0970-9037), available from Palani Paramount Publications, 69-D, Anna Nagar, Palani 624602, India.

Pseudomonas sp. B13 SN45RE is a genetically engineered microorganism (GEM) that is able to simultaneously degrade mixtures of chloro- and methylaromatics ordinarily toxic for microbial communities via a designed novel ortho-cleavage pathway, Erb, RW. et al. "Bioprotection of microbial communities from toxic phenol mixtures by a genetically designed pseudomonad", Nature Biotechnology 15 (1997), 378-82. In the absence of the GEM, shock loads of the phenol mixtures (1 mM of each compound) reduced the numbers of culturable bacteria by three orders of magnitude, completely eliminated protozoa and metazoa, and caused a drastic decrease in oxygen consumption, whereas the presence of the GEM protected the indigenous microbial community and assured continued functioning of the sewage plant.

Yellow irises bulrushes may be able to detoxify weed killer, or other chemicals, NS (22 March 1997), 24; Technology (1 Feb 1997), 19+. There is growing research on phytoremediation, EST 31 (1997), 129A. A series of papers on benzene toxicity are in Environmental Health Perspectives 104 (Dec. 1996), Supplement 6, 1121-446. Fish farm pesticides are entering Scottish lochs, NS (29 March 1997), 10. Much environmental research and development funding is now spent on how to prevent pollution, EST 31 (1997), 138-41A.

Pseudomonas sp. B13 SN45RE is a genetically engineered microorganism (GEM) that is able to simultaneously degrade mixtures of chloro- and methylaromatics ordinarily toxic for microbial communities via a designed novel ortho-cleavage pathway, Erb, RW. et al. "Bioprotection of microbial communities from toxic phenol mixtures by a genetically designed pseudomonad", Nature Biotechnology 15 (1997), 378-82. In the absence of the GEM, shock loads of the phenol mixtures (1 mM of each compound) reduced the numbers of culturable bacteria by three orders of magnitude, completely eliminated protozoa and metazoa, and caused a drastic decrease in oxygen consumption, whereas the presence of the GEM protected the indigenous microbial community and assured continued functioning of the sewage plant.

Yellow irises bulrushes may be able to detoxify weed killer, or other chemicals, NS (22 March 1997), 24; Technology (1 Feb 1997), 19+. There is growing research on phytoremediation, EST 31 (1997), 129A. A series of papers on benzene toxicity are in Environmental Health Perspectives 104 (Dec. 1996), Supplement 6, 1121-446. Fish farm pesticides are entering Scottish lochs, NS (29 March 1997), 10. Much environmental research and development funding is now spent on how to prevent pollution, EST 31 (1997), 138-41A.

A mercury resistant bacteria using overexpression of a glutathione S-transferase and a Hg-transport system has been made, Chen, S. & Wilson, DB. "Construction and characterization of Escherichia coli genetically engineered for bioremediation of Hg2+-contaminated environments", AEM 63 (1997), 2442-5. On yeast groups involved in lead biosorption, Biotechnology & Bioengineering 55 (1997), 1-10. It has been suggested that bacteria could be linked to silicon chips to use as chemical detectors for pollutants, NS (10 May 1997), 28. A bacteria that declorinates tetrachlorothene to ethene has been identified, Science 276 (1997), 1568-70. A survey of microorganisms that can reduce the smell of farm animal faeces is Bioresource Technology 60 (1997), 21-6. Paper-mill sludges can be used for fertilizer, Bioresource Technology 60 (1997), 73-80. The presence of many toxic chemicals in the Arctic by bioconcentration is reviewed in NS (10 May 1997), 23-7. Antarctic birds also have many pollutants, NS (31 May 1997), 7. A discussion of whether cleaning up birds after oils spills makes conservation sense is NS (10 May 1997), 40-4. One of the main benefits is to develop better methods that may save more birds in the future.

The US military is using phytoremediation, NatBio 15 (1997), 612. The UK military is also paying much to clean up radioactive land, NS (12 July 1997), 19. A review of problems in development of biotechnology of bioremediation is NatBio 15 (1997), 393, 486; TIBTECH 15 (1997), 235-6. A study showing that local bacteria are more effective in decomposition then introduced ones is Margesin, R. & Schinner, F. "Efficiency of indigenous and inoculated cold-adapted soil microorganisms for biodegradation of diesel oil in alpine soils", AEM 63 (1997), 26660-4. There is some success in, Crameri, A. et al. "Molecular evolution of an arsenate detoxification pathway by DNA shuffling", NatBio 15 (1997), 436-8, led to a 12-fold increase in the rate of arsenate reduction. On arsenic, iron and zinc accumulation in wetlands, Environmental Pollution 96 (1997), 1-11.

A review is Prince, RC. "Bioremediation of marine oil spills", TIBTECH 15 (1997), 158-9. Soil pollution is discussed in NS (19 July 1997), 50. A review of biological monitoring is Occup. Env. Med. 54 (1997), 361-6.

Bioremediation was discussed in the 8th European Congress on Biotechnology, GEN (1 Oct. 1997), 1, 16, 40. The biodegradation of organophosphorus pesticides by surface-expressed organophosphorus hydrolase is described in Nature Biotechnology 15 (1997), 984-7.

Phytoremediation is estimated to cost about US$25-100 for soils and $0.60-6 per 1000 gallons of water, GEN (1 Oct. 1997), 8, 41, 43. The removal of carbon tetrachloride is being developed in EST 31 (1997), 347-8A. Urinary 1-OHP is a biomarker for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, Occup. Environ Med 54 (1997), 619-21.

Water contaminated with pesticides can be cleaned quicker if the bacteria mopping up the pollution are protected by enzymes on their surface, NS (11 Oct 1997), 7. Colliding jets of water create bubbles that may also destroy pollutants, NS (18 Oct 1997), 19. In situ remediation of chromium contaminated water can be done using permeable reactive walls, EST 31 (1997), 3348-57. A review is Luthy, RG. et al. "Sequestration of hydrophobic organic contaminants by geosorbents", EST 31 (1997), 3341-7.

Aluminum toxicity may be reduced in soil if grown with buckwheat, Nature 390 (1997), 569-70. Radioactive water may be detoxified with sunflowers, NS (6 Dec 1997), 13. Popular trees can help break down organic contaminants, SA (Dec 1997), 46; as can Indian mustard plants, EST 31 (1997), 496-7A; Ryegrass, EST 31 (1997), 445, 449A. Virus-infected plants may be used to clean up contaminated land, NS (20 Dec 1997), 5. A recent book is Crawford & Crawford, eds., Bioremediation: Principles and Applications (Cambridge University Press, 1996). A series of papers on ecological engineering in central and eastern Europe is in Ecological Engineering (1997), 247+. On cleanup in general, EST 31 (1997), 505A, 560-3A; and risk-based soil remediation, EST 31 (1997), 520-5A, 547A.

There is genetic evidence for highly diverse bacterial populations in wastewater sludge used during biological leaching of metals, Biotechnology Letters 20 (1998), 27-31. The expression and regulation of the arsenic resistance operon of Acidiphilum in E. coli has been reported, AEM 64 (1998), 411-8.

There is expected to be industrial growth in use of bioremediation, GEN 18 (1 March, 1998), 20, 36, 42. There is also hope for use in developing countries, Biotechnology & Development Monitor 34 (1998), 12-16. Live catalysts can be used for pesticide detoxification, TIBTECH 16 (1998), 71-6.

Bacillus species strain SG-1 can accumulate up to six times its weight in metals, EST 32 (1998), 119A. A review on the use of bacterial biosensors for monitoring toxic metals is in TIBTECH 15 (1997), 500-6. The biosorption of radionuclides by Rhizopus arrhizus is reported in Biotechnology Letters 20 (1998), 225-8. A discussion of bacteria involved in acid mine drainage is Science 279 (1998), 1519-22.

A book review on bioremediation is of a report from the US EPA; Cleaning Up the Nation's Waste Sites: Markets and Technology Trends, which describes how the clean up of 200,000 contaminated sites across the USA will require some $187 billion to clean up under current U.S. laws, NatBio 16 (1998), 484. Old chicken feathers may be ideal for mopping up oil spills, NS (11 April 1998), 16; as may greasy hair from haircuts, NS (16 May 1998), 16. New cleanup technologies still have problems to gain credibility, EST 32 (1998), 266-70A. The US EPA will share the risks of failed cleanup trials, EST 32 (1998), 254A. Luminous bacteria can be markers of pollution, NS (6 June 1998), 21.

Live biocatalysts can be used for pesticide decontamination, TIBTECH 16 (1998), 71-6. A review on advances in the biosorption of heavy metals is TIBTECH 16 (1998), 291-300. White, C. et al. "An integrated microbial process for the bioremediation of soil contaminated with toxic metals", NatBio 16 (1998), 572-5; describe leaching of Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, and Zn from an artificially contaminated soil. Mn, Ni, and Zn were the only target elements that were significantly leached from soil minerals. The metal content of the resultant effluent liquor was low enough to meet European criteria for discharge into the environment. A review on the resistance of environmental bacteria to heavy metals, Bioresource Technology 64 (1998), 7-15.

Enzyme engineering for biodegradation is reported in Kumamaru, T. et al. "Enhanced degradation of polychlorinated biphenyls by directed evolution of biphenyl dioxygenase", NatBio 16 (1998), 663-6. A review is Wittich, RM. "Degradation of dioxin-like compounds by microorganisms", Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 49 (1998), 489-99. Information support is also needed for management of toxic waste, Nature & Resources 33 (No. 3-4, 1997), 2-17. The emergence of wetlands for treatment is discussed in EST 32 (1998), 218-23A; and on intrinsic remediation, EST 32 (1998), 180-2A.

There is debate over whether "natural" remediation of DDT or PCBs is the best way to remove the substances, given the time it takes, EST 33 (1998), 360-3A. A review of bioremediation by fungi is Chemistry & Industry (16 Feb. 1998), 134-7. On phytoremediation, Ecological Engineering 10 (1998), 263-74. Low temperature degradation of alkanes by Rhodococcus species has been reported, AEM 64 (1998), 2578-84. Ways to clean the watershed are discussed in EST 33 (1998), 364-5A.

India is considering bacterial extraction of uranium to enrich supplies for the nuclear weapons program, NS (11 July 1998), 6. Bioluminescent bacteria may be attached to waste containers on the sea floor to indicate whether any spills occur, Science News 153 (1998), 379. Bacteria can also be used as markers for pollutants, and are being used in the USA for some phenols. A bacteria that uses aluminum has been found in Yellowstone National Park, Science News 153 (1998), 341.

A review of phytoremediation applications is GEN (15 Sept. 1998), 17, 32, 34. Mercury ions can be reduced to insoluble metal by an enzyme from a bacterial gene merA which has been transferred to popular trees, Rugh CL. et al. "Development of transgenic yellow poplar for mercury phytoremediation", NatBio16 (1998), 925-8. The merA18 plantlets released elemental mercury at approximately 10 times the rate of untransformed plantlets, NS (3 Oct. 1998), 11. Mucus from snails and algae can help clean up aluminum pollution in water. Indian mustard plants have been used to purify gold from soil in New Zealand, NS (10 Oct. 1998), 15.

A successful method to engineer radiation-resistant microbes that degrade or transform mixed organic wastes to less hazardous mixtures, is described in Lange, CC. et al. "Engineering a recombinant Deinococcus radiodurans for organopollutant degradation in radioactive mixed waste environments", NatBio16 (1998), 929-33. Transgenic plants are being used as sensitive bioindicators of nuclear pollution caused by the Chernobyl accident, NatBio16 (1998), 1054-1059, 1010-1.

Recombinant Klebsiella oxytoca have been made with improved efficiency in removal of nitrates, AEM 64 (1998), 5016-9. Anoxic remediation of hydrocarbons is reported in Nature 396 (1998), 730. A newly discovered bacteria can degrade the fuel additive methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE), NS (19 Dec. 1998), 18. On fuel additives, Nature 397 (1999), 96. The presence of sorbents enhances degradation of oil by Pseudomonas species, Bioresource Technology 67 (1999), 191-99. The waste piles on the seabed beneath oil rigs are leaking heavy metals, NS (28 Nov. 1998), 24. Natural oil spills also cause pollution, SA (Nov 1998), 56-60. Complexity of remediation is discussed in EST 32 (1998), 490A, 526A.

Methods to decrease the bioavailability of toxic contaminants are also being developed, EST 32 (1998), 528-9A. Rapid photodegradation of a pharmaceutical drug diclofenac is reported in EST 32 (1998), 3449+. On barrier techniques for remediation, EST 32 (1998), 495A. A review is Francis, AJ. & Dodge, CJ. "Remediation of soils and wastes contaminated with uranium and toxic metals", EST 32 (1998), 3993-8.

A review is Lau, PCK. & Lorenzo, VD. "Genetic engineering: The frontier of bioremediation", EST 33 (1999), 124-8A. Explosives can also be degraded, French, CE. et al. "Biodegradation of explosives by transgenic plants expressing pentaerythritol tetranitrate reductase", NatBio 17 (1999), 491 - 494, 413, 428. Radiation resistant bacteria may be used to clean-up contaminated soil, Science News 154 (1998), 376-8. Analysis of heavy metals in compost-amended soil is reviewed in Bioresource Technology 69 (1999), 1-14. A paper sowing that methane-consuming archaebacteria consume much of the methane produced in marine sediments is Nature 398 (1999), 802-5.

Use of genetically engineered microorganisms for reducing hydrocarbon pollution is reported in Bioresource Technology 69 (1999), 241-5. There are also other ways to clean up soil, SA (Feb. 1999), 39-40. Studies on fish affected from the Exxon Valdez oil spill suggest they are more sensitive than previously thought, SA (March 1999), 38. In fact some suggest fish may be good for monitoring toxic chemicals, Science 283 (1999), 775, 777. In general the recovery has been slow, EST 33 (1999), 148-9A. On the construction of wetlands for pollution control, Ecological Engineering 12 (1999), 1-40+; EST 33 (1999), 973+.

A paper on bioremediation of perchlorate and nitrate in water is J. Environmental Quality 28 (1999), 1018-24. A giant sulfur-eating microbe has been found in Namibia that is close to a mm in diameter, Science 284 (1999), 415. Bacteria that eat rotten waste can break down DDT, NS (8 May 1999), 6. A review on the scientific lessons from the Exxon Valdez disaster is Science 284 (1999), 247-9. The capacity of wetlands to assimilate phosphorus is reviewed in EST 33 (1999), 1545+.

A study of Costa Rican banana workers revealed that farmers had more chromosomal damage from the pesticides they were exposed to compared to office workers, however, they had fewer unfavourable mutations, Environmental Health Perspectives 107 (1999), 501+; NS (19 June 1999), 16.

Degradation of 3-phenoxybenzoic acid in soil by GEMs is reported in AEM 65 (1999), 3354-9. Streambed microbes can destroy gasoline pollutants, Science News 155 (1999), 374. A review on contaminated site remediation is EST 33 (1999), 2305+. Use of trees to remove trichloroethane is shown in EST 33 (1999), 2257+. A review of engineering plants to cope with metals is Science 285 (1999), 369-70; and scientists have isolated the gene making phytochelatins that can mop up metals, EMBO Journal 18 (1999), 3325+; NS (26 June 1999), 27. Supercritical water can clean up dirty fuel into a cleaner source of energy, NS (16 Oct. 1999), 21. A simple palladium catalysis at high temperature in water can oxidise toxic chemicals like nerve gas, NS (28 Aug. 1999), 17. The influence of environmental changes on the degradation of chiral pollutants is reported in Nature 401 (1999), 898-901.

The modulation of cadmium uptake in phytoplankton is reported in Nature 402 (1999), 165-7. New techniques allow better detection of dirty beaches, EST 33 (1999), 353-4A. On advances in methods to detect oral bioavailability of inorganics, EST 33 (1999), 3697-700.

Bioremediation of former manufactured gas sites is reviewed in EST 33 (1999), 4379-84. Many microorganisms have been found capable of breaking down perchlorate, EST 33 (1999), 515A. Risk assessment for polycyclic aromatics is reviewed in EST 33 (1999), 4357-63. The distribution of lindane and other hexachlorocyclohexanes in the environment is reviewed in EST 33 (1999), 4373-8.

The genome sequence of a resistant bacteria has been found from Celera Genomics, White, O. et al. "Genome sequence of the radioresistant bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans R1", Science 286 (1999), 1571-7. On its use, Brim, H. et al. "Engineering Deinococcus radiodurans for metal remediation in radioactive mixed waste environments", Nature Biotechnology 18 (2000), 85-90. Biosorption of uranium by Aspergillus fumigatus is reported in Biotech. Techniques 13 (1999), 695-9. Mercury can be removed by a resistant Pseudomonas putida strain, AEM 65 (1999), 5279-84. Two Sedish detective dogs found 10 tonnes of mercury hidden in drains, NS (27 Nov. 1999), 23.

A review on biosensors is EST 33 (1999), 500-6. Degradation of spent sausage casings by cellulases is one way to reduce their accumulation, Bioresource Technology 71 (2000), 125-31.

A review is Mohan, BS. & Hosetti, BB. "Aquatic plants for toxicity assessment", Environmental Research 81 (1999), 259-74. A discussion of genetic engineering of Pseudomonas putida to enable it for clean up is NS (12 Feb. 2000), 13; Bizily, SB. "Phytodetoxification of hazardous organomercurials by genetically engineered plants", NatBio 18 (2000), 213-7, 136. The use of PCR to monitor bioremediation is discussed in AEM 66 (2000), 678-83. Ground up coffee may clean up drinking water, NS (12 Feb. 2000), 20.
The use of fluorescence to monitor bacteria in bioremediation is reported in Ripp, S. et al. gControlled field release of a bioluminescent genetically engineered microorganism for bioremediation process monitoring and controlh, EST 34 (2000), 846-53, 162A; NS (11 March 2000), 20. A review of environmental biotechnology is TIBTECH 18 (2000), 19-21. Genomics is being used to monitor the environment, EST 34 (2000), 164-5A.

A new hydrogel has been developed that may be useful for oil slicks, NS (18 March 2000), 7. On the use of sludge treatment for soil conditioners, Bioresource Technology 73 (2000), 213-9. A combined method using sulfur-oxidizing bacteria and electrokinetics can be used to remove copper from contaminated soil, EST 34 (2000), 1081-7. A review on potential commercial applications of microbial surfactants is Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 53 (2000), 495-508.

Biodegradation of rubbers by Actinomycetes is reported in AEM 66 (2000), 1639-45. Uranium bioremediation on a microbial mat is described in EST 34 (2000), 3235-41; see also Env. Health Perspectives 108 (2000), A208. A report on bioremediation of a trichloroethane contaminated aquifer is EST 34 (2000), 2254-60. A review of evaluation methods for natural attenuation as a groundwater cleanup is EST 34 (2000), 346-52A. Engineered enzymes may help, EST 34 (2000), 334-5A; as will analysis of toxicants on chips, EST 34 (2000), 244-5A..

The trends for more use of bioremediation are discussed in Science 289 (2000), 2266-7. The expression of sfp gene and hydrocarbon degradation are discussed in Biotechnology Letters 22 (2000), 1431-6. The use of Lux genes to report environmental contamination is reviewed in Everyman's Science 34 (2000), 179-82.

Engineering bacterial biopolymers for biosorption of heavy metals is reviewed in Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnology 54 (2000), 451-60. On the composition of mercury-reducing biofilms, AEM 66 (2000), 4559-63. More than 60,000 children are born in the USA each year with neurodevelopmental impairments caused by methylmercury, Science News 158 (2000), 77. Choice of water management affects mercury levels, EST 34 (2000), 4058-63. In general on reducing mercury emissions, EST 34 (2000), 378-9A. Biodegradation of nylon oligomers is discussed in Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnology 54 (2000), 461-6.

In Singapore GM fluorescent fish are being tested for detection of water pollution, AgBiotech Reporter (Dec 2000), 25-6. Lux genes are also used to report pollution, <Everyman’s Science 34 (Jan. 2000), 179-82. A discussion of bioremediation is in TIBTECH 19 (2001), 7-8; BioFutur Special Issue (Feb. 2000), 74-5. On ecological restoration, Environmental Management 26 (2000), 469-78.

A bacterial culture that degrades methoxy-methyl urea herbicides has been reported, AEM 66 (2000), 5110-5. Biodegradation of PAHs by fungi is reported in Bioresource Technology 76 (2001), 113-7.

Recycling of agricultural wastes by white rot fungi for fodder production in ruminants is discussed in AgroFood Industry Hi-Tech (Nov. 2000), 11, 30-2. Intrinsic bioremediation of tetrachloroethane and trichloroethene is reported from Dover Air Base in EST 35 (2001), 261-9.

A review of metal-binding proteins in bioremediation is TIBTECH 19 (2001), 67-73. On biomonitorring and bioremediation, TIBTECH 19 (2001), 7-8. Anaerobic sulphur reducing microbes in the earth_fs crust may be useful to combat air pollution, Australasian Science (Sept. 2000), 14. On anaerobic bioremediation, TIBTECH 18 (2000), 408+. Industrial wastewater bioreactors can produce novel microorganisms for biotechnology, TIBTECH 18 (2000), 501+.

An automated system for bioremediation has been developed, Industrial Bioprocessing 23 (April 2001), 9. On biomonitoring, Nature 411 (2001), 989-90. The sorption of lipophilic organic compounds to wood is analysed in EST 35 (2001), 1561-73. On degradation of phenylurea herbicides by Arthrobacter globiformis, AEM 67 (2001), 2270-5. A fern with an affinity for arsenic is useful for bioremediation, EST 35 (2001), 278-9A. On cleaning up dioxin with nanotubes, EST 35 (2001), 233A. Spontaneous succession for restoration of human disturbed habitats in Central Europe is reported in Ecological Engineering 17 (2001), 55-62.

On biodegradation of oil, Nature 411 AEM 67 (2001), 1034-7. Hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria are analysed in AEM 67 (2001), 2683-91. Transgenic tobacco plants expressing a cysteine synthase gene are resistance to cadmium, J. Plant Physiol. 158 (2001), 655-61. On cadmium resistance, AEM 67 (2001), 1437-44. On remediation of dyes, Bioresource Technology 77 (2001), 247-55. The question of whether science and technology can solve environmental problems is asked in Ecological Economics 37 (2001), 271-87.

Field trials from plants suggest faster growing plants are needed, maybe made by genetic engineering, Kramer, U. & Chardonnens, AN. "The use of transgenic plants in the bioremediation of soils contaminated with trace elements", Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 55 (2001), 661-72. Phytoremediation of organic contaminants in soils is reviewed in Bioresource technology 79 (2001), 273-6.

Microbes are showing promise as a way to bioremediate plutonium, EST 35 (2001), 314-5A. Biotechnology and the utilization of biowaste as a resource for bioproduct development may present another approach for use of wastes, TIBTECH 19 (2001), 172-7. An analysis of persistent pollutants in land applied sludges, namely brominated diphenyl ethers from flame repellants, suggests a problem in the USA, Nature 412 (2001), 140-1.

An analysis of the criteria for oil spill recovery from the intertidal community of Prince William Sound, Alaska, after the Exxon Valdez spill, is Environmental Management 28 (2001), 9-18.

The use of anaerobes for bioremediation is reviewed in Science 293 (2001), 1444-6. Worms can be very useful for waste conversion, NS (15 Sept. 2001), 32-4. Biomass byproducts can be used for removing toxic metals from wastewater, EST 35 (2001), 3786-91. Specific cadmium uptake is reported in Biotechnology Letters 23 (2001), 1391-6. Immobilized cells of Pseudomonas putida removed phenols from industrial wastewater, Bioresource Technology 80 (2001), 137-42.

A general comment on bioremediation is NatBio 19 (2001), 1111-5. A review of phytoremediation is Van der Lelie, D. et al. "Assessing phytoremediation's progress in the United States and Europe", EST 35 (2001), 446-52A. Utilization of agricultural and food waste by biotechnology is reviewed in AgroFoodIndustry Hi Tech. 72 (May 2001), 26-29. On remediation of strontium, EST 36 (2002), 20-1A; and perchlorate remediation, EST 35 (2001), 482-7A. Removal of endocrine disrupting chemicals in sludge is reported in EST 35 (2001), 4697-710.

A discussion of biotechnology in the mining industry is Australasian Biotechnology 11 (Dec. 2001), 30-1. A fish that glows after being exposed to toxins like PCBs has been used to detect pollution in the USA, NS (12 Jan. 2002), 36-7.


Microbiologists are trying to trace polluting bacteria, Science 295 (2002), 2352-3. Dechlorination of chloroacetanilide herbicides by thiosulfate salts is reported in PNAS 99 (2002), 5189-94.

Bioremediating crude oil in a high salt environment has been achieved, Industrial Processing 24 (July 2002), 3.

Genetically engineered Arabiopdsis thaliana can help remove arsenic from contaminated land, NatBio 20 (2002), 1094-5. The positive uses of dredged material for coastal restoration are discussed in Ecological Engineering 19 (2002), 181-210. Bioconversion of domestic wastewater sludge makes a resource, Bioresource Technology 85 (2002), 263-72.

The exposure to oil in clean up workers has ill effects on their health, Lancet 361 (2003), 147. Salvage plans to recover oil from a sunken tanker 3.5km deep are discussed in NS (14 Dec., 2002), 15; Science 298 (2002), 1696-7. The definition of oil as a natural disaster is debated in NS (30 Nov., 2002), 9.

Discussion of the advice of Spanish scientists in cleaning up the 13 November 2002 oil spill is in Science 299 (2003), 490, 511. A dioxin degrading bacterial strain of Dehalococcoides has been found in  river soil in Germany, NS (25 Jan., 2003), 21. An electrochemical system for removing mercury from a gas stream is described in EST 36 (2002), 4430-5.

Microbes can be used to make plastic from food waste, EST 37 (2003), 175-6A. A species of Dehalococcoides has been found to break down dioxin, Nature 421 (2003), 357-60; EST 37 (2003), 135A. The genome sequence of Shewanella oneidensis, a microbe that is useful for pollution degradation, has been sequenced,  NatBio 20 (2002), 1118-23, 1093-4. Microbes from a South African gold mine have been found which use byproducts of radioactive decay to survive, Science 299 (2003), 1307.

Methods to clean up oil spills are discussed in Nature 422 (2003), 464-6; SA (Jan. 2003), 9-10. Legal responsibility for remediation is discussed in Modern Law Review 66 (2003), 261-77. Cleaning up old military bases is discussed in Environmental Health Perspectives 111 (2003), A148-9. Plants can clean up hazardous sites, NatBio 20 (2002), 329. Lettuce can sequester high levels of perchlorate, EST 37 (2003), 87A. Arabidopsis thaliana has been engineered to contain two bacterial enzymes to remove arsenic from contaminated soils, NatBio 20 (2002), 1094-5, 1140-5.

Detoxification of vinyl chloride to ethane by a bacteria is reported in Nature 424 (2003), 62-5. Phytoremediation may release TCE to the atmosphere, EST 37 (2003), 206A. On remediating chlorinated solvent sources, EST 37 (2003), 225-30A.

A study of hydrocarbon-degrading microbes in contaminated and pristine alpine soils in AEM 69 (2003), 3085-92. Study of a recombinant Psudomonas putida strain with desulfization genes is reported in Biotechnology Letters 25 (2003), 1147-50. A comparison of dehalogenase gene pools in cultured versus environmental metagene pools found significant differences, AEM 69 (2003), 4375-82. Use of silica-immobilized humin is a cost effective way to remove heavy metals in solutions, Bioresource Technology 90 (2003), 11-7. Mercury removal can be enhanced one hundred fold by a new technology produced by Gore Inc., EST 37 (2003), 283-4A.

Cleaning up after war can take much time and money, SA (Oct. 2003), 26-7. Some sunken oil tankers from WWII in the pacific are only now releasing the oil in the ocean, NS (22 Feb. 2003), 12-3; (5 April 2003), 16. On phytoremediation, EST 37 (2003), 342A. Degradation of PCBs in marine sediment treated with UV and ionizing radiation is reviewed in EST 37 (2003), 3808-15. Spawning salmon can transfer pollutants, BMJ 327 (2003), Nature 425 (2003), 255. Oil spills with ice makes degradation more difficult, NS (20 Sept. 2003), 18.

Removal of uranium in groundwater is reviewed in EST 37 (2003), 4304-8. The environmental cleanup of the Everglades has suffered a potential setback with the sacking of the judge in charge, Nature 425 (2003), 551. Degradation of xenobiotics in bioreactors is discussed in Biotechnol Bioeng 84 (2003), 399-405.

The engineering of plants for phytoremediation has been progressed through the concept of vacuolar compartmentalization, Trends in Plant Science 9 (2004), 7-9. Molecular markers for plant bioremediation are available in Germany, Industrial Processing 26 (Jan. 2004), 7. A review of the long-term ecosystem response to the Exxon Valdez oil spill is Science 302 (2003), 2082-6. Planning for removal of oil from a sunken tanker is discussed in SA (Jan. 2004), 18. Restoration of an open-cast coal mine by planting exotic tree species is reported in Ecological Engineering 21 (2003), 143-51. A report from remediation at US Dept. of Energy sites is Science 303 (2004), 1615-6.

GM bacteria can improve the degradation of toluene in plants, NatBio 22 (2004), 526-7, 583-8. Tributyl phosphate degradation by Serratia odorifera is reported in Biotechnology Letters 26 (2004), 681-6. Sea otters helped clean up oil after Exxon Valdez but got sick, SA (May 2004), 16-7.

The oil spill from the ship Prestige in Spain is discussed in Science 302 (2003), 1485.

A system of ex planta phytoremediation of chemicals through chemicals secreted from the roots is described in NatBio 22 (2004), 893-7. Beetle based sensors may improve the advance warning of forest fires, NS (7 Aug. 2004), 20. On the degradation of PCBs to highly toxic metabolites and bioactivation of xenobiotics is reported in Environmental Microbiology 6 (2004), 842-50. The role of a metal-reducing bacteria in arsenic release from Bengal delta sediments is discussed in Nature 430 (2004), 68-71.


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