CHM 151 M/W 7:30 AM
February 26, 2010
A. Biotechnology is a scientific field that finds uses of microorganisms for agricultural, medical, industrial and technological purposes. The field of biotechnology growing at an exponential rate and branches off into several categories. B. Bioremediation is a subcategory of biotechnology that involves microorganisms and the environment. Although bioremediation is primarily established my man, it is a fairly natural process using microbes that occur naturally in nature to clean up any unwanted contaminants. C. Thesis- Bioremediation is a wonderful advancement in the scientific world in many ways as it uses a variety of organisms, treats several circumstances and helps the natural environment. II. The History of Bioremediation
D. Types of bioremediation have been around since ancient times recording back to around 600. B.C. when Romans build sewage systems to regulate and decontaminate wastewater (BICnews). i. Smaller types of bioremediation have also been used for quite some time such as composting. E. Bioremediation did not become a well thought of science until about forty years ago when it had been given a new approach; to treat containments such as sludge from refineries. F. Although degrading hydrocarbons from soil had been slightly practiced since the early 1900s, with the increasing publicity of bioremediation, the practice became more widely used. From here bioremediation took a giant leap as its many uses became more apparent. ii. Microorganisms could be used to treat a wide variety of medium from soil to groundwater and the ocean, bioremediation was beginning to emerge G. Around the beginning of 1980, bioremediation became widely commercialized and more prominently known. H. It was not until 1989 that the public would get a mouthful of bioremediation news from the media in response to its use on contaminated shorelines due to Exxon Valdez oil spills (BICnews). III. How Bioremediation Works
I. First the contaminated site is evaluated by a specific set of scientists that are able to tell what the contaminant is, how to treat it, and what would be needed to be done in order to begin the treatment. J. Organisms are then evaluated on their specific properties and characteristics in order to find the right one that would be best suited for the cleanup. K. The chosen subjects are then tested for their performance level in the system and how safe they are to release into the specific area. L. One of the remediation processes are then begun whether microbes are added into the environment, a plant or fungus is incorporated, or nutrients and simple environmental factors are temporarily converted in order for specific bacteria colonies to thrive. M. The bacteria then thrive and grow exponentially to colonize the surrounding area of contamination. The bacteria digest the substances and convert them into natural elements, enzymes, proteins, etc. Typically the primary products are water and carbon dioxide. N. Once the pollutants have been completely cleaned up, or cleaned to a level in which nature can successfully take over, the bacteria colonies then begin to die out as they have exhausted their space and nutrients. No further steps or precautions are necessary as bioremediation is a fairly natural process. O. In some instances genetically modified organisms are brought into the system; however they act just as natural organisms would. Primarily modified organisms are naturally born bacteria in which a specific gene has been inserted in order for them to grow in specific environments, protect themselves from specific dangers or even to help them convert substances in which their species normally could not. IV. Types of Bioremediation
P. The two primary categories of bioremediation in which the other methods...
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