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Methane-munching bacteria that can help save the environment

Professor Mike Jetten is hunting for bacteria that consume methane below the waterline.
Professor Mike Jetten is hunting for bacteria that consume methane below the waterline.

Professor Mike Jetten of Radboud University believes he can help tackle global warming by uncovering bacteria that consume methane before it reaches the environment.

Horizon sent a camera crew to the Netherlands to see Prof. Jetten and his team knee-deep in mud as they hunt for bacteria.

They know that methane is consumed below the waterline, and they are searching ponds and rivers to find the bacteria responsible.

‘We want to find these organisms because we want to understand why methane is already consumed under the water table,’ said Prof. Jetten, whose research has been funded by the European Research Council.

‘Later on, we can use these new bacteria for new processes in waste water treatment systems.’

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