Welcome to the Microverse: Oil eating bacteria have started cleaning up the Deep Horizon Oil spill

Children and adults alike love to explore and discover the newest wonders in our world.  Much of our history was formed by exploration and conquering new geographic lands.  Perhaps, there is nothing more to discover.  Are there no new worlds to conquer?  Perhaps all further exploration lies in our ever expanding universe in outer space.

But what if you could explore a whole new world, and all you need is a microscope and perhaps a few dyes.  Seems simple, huh?  And it really can be that simple.  Now we start on to our journey into microverse.  First let's look at the smallest cellular organisms, and the most well known: "germs".

Almost everyone is afraid of "germs."  But some germs can actually clean up the messes we humans create.  Everyone remembers the horrendous Gulf oil spill in 2010.  However, not many people know the heroes of this story.  After the spill, humans were trying to contain/stop the spillage, and then madly working on solutions to minimize the impact to the environment. 

Meanwhile, normal bacterial cultures within the ocean were sitting down to a huge feast.  That's right, bacteria started to devour our nasty mistake.  After 6 months, the vast majority of the oil and  hydrocarbons are gone: all thanks to microscopic bacteria!  This is much, much faster than even the more optimistic scientist could have predicted.  So rethinking "germs," should they be considered friend or foe?



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