Fighting pollution with colourful bacteria
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Mercury is a powerful poison. It can cause brain damage, tremors, paralysis and death. But two researchers at the University of Ottawa’s Department of Biology have found a way to neutralize this toxic metal by pitting it against a small but mighty foe — a group of micro-organisms known as purple non-sulphur bacteria. PhD candidate Daniel Grégoire and Professor Alexandre Poulain have established Microbright, a new company that aims to put their discovery to good use, namely by removing mercury from wastewater generated by the Canadian mining industry.

“I’ve always been interested in bioremediation, which is the use of biological organisms to help clean up the environment. We thought: the time is right to be a Canadian company that tries to push for more sustainable ways to deal with mercury pollution.”
Daniel Grégoire
PhD candidate at the University of Ottawa
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