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WRRC Seminar - Halorespiration, a natural process

May 2, 3:00pm - 4:15pm
Mānoa Campus, POST 126

Halorespiration, a natural process


Paige Novak,

University of Minnesota

Chlorinated organics, produced by man for uses such as degreasing, insulation, and fumigation,are some of the world’s most hazardous compounds, causing effects from cancer to liver damage. They contaminate tens of thousands of sites in the US alone. About 15 years ago, bacteria that were able to “breathe” some of these chlorinated compounds, and thereby detoxify them, were discovered. The fact that some of these bacteria actually required these compounds in order to live was thought to be amazing. Scientists and engineers have since debated how these organisms came to be, whether they had a niche in uncontaminated environments, and how we could best harness their abilities to clean up contaminants. Our work has focused on some of these questions, initially working to understand those organisms that dechlorinate polychlorinated biphenyls, and eventually working to unravel their natural role with the hope that this information might lead us to better clean-up methods.

Event Sponsor
Water Resources Research Center, Mānoa Campus

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