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Could Bacteria-Filled Balloons Stop the Spread of the Sahara?

While many are supporting the idea of building a green wall of vegetation (i.e. trees) to prevent the march of sands on the creeping southern border of the Sahara, Architect Magnus Larsson is proposing that we also solidify the dunes using bacteria-filled balloons.

At a recent TED conference, Larsson suggests we can flood the Sahara with Bacillus pasteurii, a bacterium which chemically produces calcite - a kind of natural cement, by filling giant balloons with the microbe and placing them in the way of the moving dunes. Essentially, once the balloons pop under the dunes' weight, this would turn the edges of the Sahara into stone.

Unfortunately, the video of Larsson's presentation is not posted yet. But when it is, MicrobeWorld will be sure to link to it.
 
 

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