Major Breakthrough Could Help Detoxify Pollutants

Posted by on October 22, 2014 in Sci-Tech, Science, Technology with 0 Comments

Sciencedaily

Smokestacks (stock image). "As well as combatting the toxicity and longevity of pollutants we're also confident that our findings can help to develop a better method for screening environmental or food samples," one scientists noted.

Smokestacks (stock image). “As well as combatting the toxicity and longevity of pollutants we’re also confident that our findings can help to develop a better method for screening environmental or food samples,” one scientists noted.

Scientists at The University of Manchester hope a major breakthrough could lead to more effective methods for detoxifying dangerous pollutants like PCBs and dioxins. The result is a culmination of 15 years of research and has been published in Nature. It details how certain organisms manage to lower the toxicity of pollutants.

The team at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology were investigating how some natural organisms manage to lower the level of toxicity and shorten the life span of several notorious pollutants.

Professor David Leys explains the research: “We already know that some of the most toxic pollutants contain halogen atoms and that most biological systems simply don’t know how to deal with these molecules. However, there are some organisms that can remove these halogen atoms using vitamin B12. Our research has identified that they use vitamin B12 in a very different way to how we currently understand it.”

He continues: “Detailing how this novel process of detoxification works means that we are now in a position to look at replicating it. We hope that ultimately new ways of combating some of the world’s biggest toxins can now be developed more quickly and efficiently.”

It’s taken Professor Leys 15 years of research to reach this breakthrough, made possible by a dedicated European Research Council (ERC) grant. The main difficulty has been in growing enough of the natural organisms to be able to study how they detoxify the pollutants. The team at the MIB were finally able to obtain key proteins through genetic modification of other, faster growing organisms. They then used X-ray crystallography to study in 3D how halogen removal is achieved.

[read full post here]

Tags: , , , ,

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on YouTube

New Title

NOTE: Email is optional. Do NOT enter it if you do NOT want it displayed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

FAIR USE NOTICE. Many of the articles on this site contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making this material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental issues, human rights, economic and political democracy, and issues of social justice. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law which contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. If you wish to use such copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use'...you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. And, if you are a copyright owner who wishes to have your content removed, let us know via the "Contact Us" link at the top of the site, and we will promptly remove it.

The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Conscious Life News assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms.

Paid advertising on Conscious Life News may not represent the views and opinions of this website and its contributors. No endorsement of products and services advertised is either expressed or implied.
Top

Send this to a friend