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Can Microbes Clean Up Our Oily Mess? [Video]

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With an estimated 70 oil spills every day in the U.S. and tons of plastic garbage littering our oceans, humans could really use some help cleaning up. In our latest Instant Egghead video, Scientific American associate editor David Biello explains how bacteria and other microbes lend a hand.

More to explore:

How Going with the Flow Helped Microbes Eat BP’s Oil Spill (Scientific American)

Meet the Microbes Eating the Gulf Oil Spill [Slide Show] (Scientific American)

Marine Microbes Digest Plastic (Nature news)

Written & presented by David Biello
Edited by Joss Fong
Produced by Eric R. Olson

About the Author: Joss is the video production intern at Scientific American and a graduate student in the Science, Health and Environmental Reporting program at New York University. Follow on twitter at @jossfong

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  1. 1. tuned 4:05 pm 12/11/2013

    I’ve been hearing about this sort of thing for decades, but it never happens. Anywhere there has been an oil spill you can dig a few inches and hit tar. I know such stuff grows at the condensation (bottom) water line in fossil fuel storage tanks because it clogs up fuel filters at power plants when the tanks run low in emergencies.

    Link to this

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