Nitrogen

Growing pile of human and animal waste harbors threats, opportunities

The global amount of recoverable fecal waste harbors risks, such as water contamination, but also opportunities to harvest natural resources. A new study from Carlton S. Wilder Assistant Professor Joe Brown, left, and others at Georgia Tech has determined just how much of that recoverable biomass exists. Here, Brown is pictured with former student Andrew Loo. (Photo: Gary Meek)

As demand for meat and dairy products increases across the world, much attention has landed on how livestock impact the environment, from land usage to greenhouse gas emissions. Now researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are highlighting another effect from animals raised for food and the humans who eat them: the waste they all leave behind.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

NSF funds two new projects to understand greenhouse gas emissions from soil, expand microbial big-data analysis tools

Microbes in soil can break down nitrous oxide, N2O, into harmless nitrogen, N2, but they don't always do a good job, according to Professor Kostas Konstantinidis. He has a new grant from the National Science Foundation to understand why. The problem is that the nitrous oxide is a powerful and damaging greenhouse gas. The study will focus on agricultural land, where nitrogen is often added to soil as fertilizer, and tropical forests. (Image Courtesy: Kostas Konstantinidis)

Kostas Konstantinidis has received two new grants from the National Science Foundation that promise to help researchers better understand some of the tiniest organisms on the planet.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Global warming, a dead zone and mysterious bacteria

Researchers Liz Robertson from the University of Southern Denmark and Josh Manger from the University of California, San Diego, ready a sample collector off Mexico's Pacific coast. They’re part of a research team that discovered bacteria making oxygen minimum zones in the ocean even deader by sucking up all life-giving nitrogen molecules. (Photo: Heather Olins)

In ocean expanses where oxygen has vanished, newly discovered bacteria are diminishing additional life molecules. They help make virtual dead zones even deader. Now, a team led by the Georgia Institute of Technology has discovered members of a highly prolific bacteria group known as SAR11 living in the world’s largest oxygen minimum zone. The team has produced unambiguous evidence that the bacteria play a major role in denitrification.

Monday, August 8, 2016
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