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Seaweed vs. DDT
Jamais Cascio, 8 Nov 04

The Washington Post reports on research demonstrating that a powdered mix of red and green seaweed greatly accelerates bioremediation of DDT accumulated in the soil. Because DDT is very effective at wiping out malaria-bearing mosquitos, it is still used in over two dozen countries, primarily in Africa, to combat the deadly disease. But DDT has devastating longer-term effects on a wide range of species, and is incredibly persistent in soil -- even though it hasn't been used in the US in over 30 years, significant traces can still be found in treated areas. The seaweed mixture enhances the ability of anaerobic microbes in the soil to break down DDT; in one test, the researchers found the seaweed-powered microbes eliminated 80% of the DDT in contaminated soil in six weeks.

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