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Strain Of Bacteria Discovered; Could Aid In Oil Spill, Other Environmental Cleanup

Researchers have discovered a new strain of bacteria that can produce non-toxic, comparatively inexpensive “rhamnolipids,” and effectively help degrade polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs --environmental pollutants that are one of the most harmful aspects of oil spills. Because of its unique characteristics, this new bacterial strain could be of considerable value in the long-term cleanup of the massive Gulf Coast oil spill, scientists say.

“PAHs are a widespread group of toxic, carcinogenic and mutagenic compounds, but also one of the biggest concerns about oil spills,” said Xihou Yin, a research assistant professor in the OSU College of Pharmacy.

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