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Systems Microbiolo34 - Systems Microbiology o Microbial...

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Systems Microbiology o Microbial bioremediation of uranium 􀂃 Uranium (VI) is water soluble, radioactive, and toxic, and it can end up in ground water (produced by energy production and nuclear bombs) 􀂃 These microbes convert uranium (VI) to uranium (IV), which is insoluble, so it won’t end up in the ground water. 􀂃 All you need to do is add acetates and the microbes (which are already everywhere) will convert the uranium (VI), which then precipitates and falls out of the moving water. o Geobacter can use electrodes as an electron acceptor 􀂃 Thus allowing us to harvest power from aquatic sediments and other sources of waste organics 􀂃 Microbial fuel cell, powered by residual organics 􀂃 These aren’t very powerful, but they can run small systems 􀂃 How do these organisms dump electrons onto a solid? • It’s not terribly well understood • It involves the pili – they transmit electrons o Deep-sea methane hydrates are buried in sediments off of continental margins
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