Title

The Use of Microbes in the Processing of Radionuclides

Presenter Information

Larry Tolliver

Department

Biological Sciences

Major

Biological Sciences

Research Advisor

Westenberg, David J.

Advisor's Department

Biological Sciences

Abstract

The process of bioremediation, using microbes (altered or otherwise) to clean up toxic industrial products or pollutants, is already used for processing of plastics, heavy metals or even radioactive waste. It is known that some microbes can convert soluble radionuclides into insoluble radionuclides, such as the reduction of hexavalent uranium to tetravalent uranium by Desulfosporosinus spp. This ability to convert one into another could be useful in cleaning up the waste and pollution from nuclear incidents, like last year’s Fukushima disaster. If the genes for these radionuclide-reducing enzymes along with the genes necessary for radiation resistance could be isolated, they could be introduced into another appropriate microbe to create a bacteria specialized for a certain environment. These microbes could also potentially be used to clean up radionuclides other than uranium.

Biography

Larry is a senior in Biological Sciences. After graduation he plans to pursue graduate school. In his spare time he enjoys playing baseball and bird watching.

Research Category

Research Proposals

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Document Type

Poster

Location

Upper Atrium/Hallway

Presentation Date

10 Apr 2012, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

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Apr 10th, 1:00 PM Apr 10th, 3:00 PM

The Use of Microbes in the Processing of Radionuclides

Upper Atrium/Hallway

The process of bioremediation, using microbes (altered or otherwise) to clean up toxic industrial products or pollutants, is already used for processing of plastics, heavy metals or even radioactive waste. It is known that some microbes can convert soluble radionuclides into insoluble radionuclides, such as the reduction of hexavalent uranium to tetravalent uranium by Desulfosporosinus spp. This ability to convert one into another could be useful in cleaning up the waste and pollution from nuclear incidents, like last year’s Fukushima disaster. If the genes for these radionuclide-reducing enzymes along with the genes necessary for radiation resistance could be isolated, they could be introduced into another appropriate microbe to create a bacteria specialized for a certain environment. These microbes could also potentially be used to clean up radionuclides other than uranium.