Oil-Dwelling Microbes Offer New Hope for Spill Cleanup

Microbes may be tiny, but their influence on the world is huge: they imbue Yellowstone’s hot springs with vibrant color, help protect the lining in our intestines, and recycle nutrients in the soil. They can even break down oil — from right inside it, as it turns out.

Researchers found this by studying microbial communities in water samples from Trinidad and Tobago’s Pitch Lake, the world’s largest natural asphalt lake (less prettily, a tar pit). They found active microbes in water drople

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