Microorganism Cleans Up Toxic Groundwater

A microorganism too small to see with the naked eye may be the answer to one of the U.S. Department of Energy’s largest environmental problems: hundreds of billions of gallons of groundwater contaminated with uranium and other toxic chemicals.

The microorganism, called Geobacter sulferreducens, has a unique metabolism–it passes electrons onto metals to get energy from its food in the same way that we humans breathe in oxygen to break down our food.