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Research shows bacteria can combat dangerous gas leaks

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Bacteria could mop up naturally-occurring and man-made leaks of natural gases before they are released into the atmosphere and cause global warming - according to new research from the University of East Anglia.

Findings published today in the journal Nature shows how a single bacterial strain (Methylocella silvestris) found in soil and other environments around the world can grow on both the methane and propane found in natural gas.

It was originally thought that the ability to metabolize methane and other gaseous alkanes such as propane was carried out by different groups of bacteria. This new finding is important because it means that one type of bacteria can mop up the components of natural gas very efficiently and reduce pollution.

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