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MEI Online: Biotechnology: Latest News: January 27th 2003


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:: BRGM finds new friendly bug

The French state-owned earth sciences research and development agency Bureau de Recherches Geologiques et Minieres (BRGM) has discovered a new bacterium at the site of the old Cheni gold mine, near Limoges in France. The bacterium, called Cheni arsenic oxydante 1 (CAS01), is a member of the family Thiomonas. These bacteria are capable of the natural oxidation of arsenic III, which is toxic, and arsenic V, which is harmless. BRGM notes that this property could prove very valuable, for example, in the treatment of polluted water.

The discovery of CAS01 was made possible by work in modelling the hydrology and geochemistry of the migration of pollution resulting from the residues of the former mine site. BRGM is now working on the in-situ stimulation of the natural decontamination process of its newly-found bacterium.


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