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New ‘Oil Eating’ Microbe Is Found In Gulf

From an annoyed Associated Press:

New microbe discovered eating oil spill in Gulf

By Randolph E. Schmid, AP Science Writer Tue Aug 24, 2010

WASHINGTON – A newly discovered type of oil-eating microbe is suddenly flourishing in the Gulf of Mexico.

Scientists discovered the new microbe while studying the underwater dispersion of millions of gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf following the explosion of BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling rig.

And the microbe works without significantly depleting oxygen in the water, researchers led by Terry Hazen at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif., reported Tuesday in the online journal Sciencexpress.

"Our findings, which provide the first data ever on microbial activity from a deepwater dispersed oil plume, suggest" a great potential for bacteria to help dispose of oil plumes in the deep-sea, Hazen said in a statement.

Environmentalists have raised concerns about the giant oil spill and the underwater plume of dispersed oil, particularly its potential effects on sea life. A report just last week described a 22-mile long underwater mist of tiny oil droplets.

"Our findings show that the influx of oil profoundly altered the microbial community by significantly stimulating deep-sea" cold temperature bacteria that are closely related to known petroleum-degrading microbes, Hazen reported.

Their findings are based on more than 200 samples collected from 17 deepwater sites between May 25 and June 2. They found that the dominant microbe in the oil plume is a new species, closely related to members of Oceanospirillales.

Isn’t it amazing the things we don’t know? Especially, when you think about how many so-called ‘environmental scientists’ there are now collecting paychecks.

This microbe thrives in cold water, with temperatures in the deep recorded at 5 degrees Celsius (41 Fahrenheit).

Hazen suggested that the bacteria may have adapted over time due to periodic leaks and natural seeps of oil in the Gulf.

And of course the ‘oil leaks’ they are talking about would have had to be going on for millennia for such evolution to occur.

Scientists also had been concerned that oil-eating activity by microbes would consume large amounts of oxygen in the water, creating a "dead zone" dangerous to other life. But the new study found that oxygen saturation outside the oil plume was 67-percent while within the plume it was 59-percent.

(AP: damn!)

The research was supported by an existing grant with the Energy Biosciences Institute, a partnership led by the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Illinois that is funded by a $500 million, 10-year grant from BP. Other support came from the U.S. Department of Energy and the University of Oklahoma Research Foundation.

Oh, this research was funded by BP. So obviously they just made up this microbe out of whole cloth.

What a relief. We were worried for a minute that the BP spill might not have been the end of the world.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, August 25th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

9 Responses to “New ‘Oil Eating’ Microbe Is Found In Gulf”

  1. wardmama4 says:

    I am shocked that this made it in to the Associated (with Terrorists) Press –

    Free Market & Its results (including using all that filthy lucre called evil profits):
    The research was supported by an existing grant with the Energy Biosciences Institute, a partnership led by the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Illinois that is funded by a $500 million, 10-year grant from BP


    Government at its worst:
    Post Office
    Social Security
    Dept of Education
    Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac

    God Help America
    A Proud American Infidel

  2. GetBackJack says:

    1. It’s God’s Creation
    2. Oil is part of that Creation
    3. Being able to “think ahead” God most certainly created a way for Nature to balance itself
    4. This is apostasy to Washington, liberals, eco-nuts and the media … but I repeat myself.
    5. My money’s of God

    • canary says:

      GetBackJack, God has replenished the earth over and over again, but some never learned that.
      And oil is booming again. The heat produces natural gas, and just think in 1000 years according to warmers gas will come from those landfills; landfills that recycle on their own.

    • GetBackJack says:

      oh, baby

  3. jackal40 says:

    And these same scientists want us to believe that they can accurately predict climate change? These idiots can’t get the weather right from one day to next and keep getting surprised by this and that. Sorry, color me a skeptic when it comes to what science does and does not know.

  4. untrainable says:

    Maybe that’s why they’re having such a hard time FINDING oil to cleanup. How are they going to justify $20B if some natural process is cleaning up the oil.

    I wonder how long it will be before one of these faux experts decides that the “new” microbe ( Just because some overpaid chemistry teacher with a government grant hasn’t seen it before doesn’t mean it’s “new”) is going to destroy the ocean and subsequently all life on earth. Well, the oxygen argument is out the window. Let’s see if they produce carbon dioxide. Then the EPA can make them illegal and someone will have to pay the carbon tax for them. Do microbes pay taxes… I mean fees?

  5. Ultra-C says:

    A new species? Quick, let’s get is declared “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act. Then, in order to keep it fed, we’ll have to increase oil production — it’s a win-win for us normal folks and the enviro-whackos!

  6. NoNeoCommies says:

    Nature has a way of eliminating anything that can be used to fuel life by evolving existing organisms to take advantage of any resource.
    That’s why we have to work so hard to control nature.
    It just wants us to become fertilizer.

  7. TwilightZoned says:

    “And the microbe works without significantly depleting oxygen in the water,…”

    Great, but does it emit carbon? (sarc)

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