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Estrogen-Eating Bacteria = Safer Water

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Usually, when you mention bacteria in connection with water, it’s a bad thing. But one Texas A&M engineering researcher believes the right bacteria are a natural weapon for fighting an emerging water contaminant: estrogen.

Increasingly sensitive methods of screening water for polluting substances allow environmental scientists to monitor traces of previously undetected contaminants in otherwise clean water: trace amounts of pharmaceutical and personal care products ranging from antibiotics to anesthetics and, especially, estrogens.

The presence of any of these drugs concerns public health officials, but Dr. Kung-Hui (Bella) Chu, an associate professor in the Environmental and Water Resources Engineering Division of the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering, is particularly interested in estrogen in water.

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