R&D Nag – Some remarkable types of bacteria have proven themselves capable of “consuming” toxic pollutants, organically diminishing environmental impact in a process called bioremediation. Enzymes within these bacteria can effectively alter the molecular structure of dangerous chemicals, but the underlying mechanisms and keys to future advances often remain unknown.
Now, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy‘s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory have revealed a possible explanation for the superior function of one pollution-degrading enzyme. Using X-ray diffraction techniques at Brookhaven’s National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS), they probed the structure of an enzyme engineered at Stanford University that had been identified as particularly effective in dealing with a carcinogenic pollutant known as hexavalent chromate. They discovered that this mutated enzyme might owe its high performance to its unique structure of intermolecular bonds. The research, published in PLoS ONE. more> http://tinyurl.com/7a6gmaf