The Great and Useful… Bacteria!


Jiada Zhoa, Reporter

Bacteria. Whenever a person hears this word, the person wouldn’t associate it with something good. But, bacteria can be just that! Recently, a team of researchers from the University of Tennessee have discovered that bacteria can be used to detect environmental damage.  Specifically, they have discovered how to use bacteria to prevent symptoms caused by toxins in food and water. They developed a method that can test for the presence of a large pool of pollutants. This test can even detect the presence of even smaller forms of toxins, such as uranium contamination and nitrate pollution. Not only that, this test is modestly simple and not exactly time consuming. It can be done in one day and obtain results overnight.

Bacteria can be used to detect environmental damage, because they react in certain and predictable ways.  Armed with this knowledge, the team of researchers can determine if there was any sort of contamination in the past. This can be useful for many people, especially for those in poor and underdeveloped countries. It can be used to detect oil, uranium, nitrate, and pH levels in well water. It also can be used to determine the environmental health of an area to see if it would be wise to build something near the ocean. With advantages like these, it could make the difference between a poor quality of life and a better one.

The Environmentalist Club is working on improving the awareness of environmental issues. If you’re interested in making our environment a better place, come to room 456 on Thursdays during period 9. Mr. Bernardi, the advisor of the club, and its numerous members will be there to greet you.