Everyone seems to think they have the solution to cleaning up the oil spill these days. Smart Planet readers email me ideas everyday.
James Cameron put together an all-star list of underwater tech experts — and they produced a memo that will be made public as soon as the government agencies approve it. It also turns out, actor and partner of Ocean Therapy Solutions Kevin Costner has been working on an oil cleaning machine for years. We will soon be able to see if the machine can actually suck up the oil, as it claims. Costner just sold 32 of his machines to BP.
Researchers at Oregon State University want to use bacteria to clean up the oil. They discovered a new strain of P. aeruginosa called "NY3" that might do the trick. "NY3" can degrade the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) found in oil, without the environmental risk of synthetic chemicals.
"PAHs are a widespread group of toxic, carcinogenic and mutagenic compounds, but also one of the biggest concerns about oil spills," said Xihou Yin, a research assistant professor in the OSU College of Pharmacy.
"Some of the most toxic aspects of oil to fish, wildlife and humans are from PAHs," Yin said. "They can cause cancer, suppress immune system function, cause reproductive problems, nervous system effects and other health issues. This particular strain of bacteria appears to break up and degrade PAHs better than other approaches we have available."
OSU is banking on a patent, but more work needs to be done on "NY3" before it can be commercialized.
No doubt, we will see many more ideas surface. As the oil continues to gush into the Gulf at a rate of the entire Exxon Valdez disaster every 10 days, reports The New York Times, BP will need to spend up to $6 billion on the clean up.
On a lighter note, a comedy group at Upright Citizens Brigade produced a parody video, imagining what it might be like if BP execs spilled coffee at a meeting.
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