Researchers from several leading institutions in the United States say they have discovered a new kind of naturally occurring underwater bacteria that has eaten a considerable portion of the oil that spilled out of the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform.
The microbe is one of many species that helped mitigate damage from one of the worst environmental disasters in history. The scientists also say their work gives insights into how future oil spills could be mitigated.
In April 2010, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico killed 11 people and caused more than 4 million barrels of oil to shoot out of the well one mile below the surface of the ocean.
Recovery teams poured millions of barrels of chemicals into the ocean to disperse the oil.
Previous research has suggested the dispersants actually slowed microbes’ ability to degrade the oil. But this new paper, published …
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