Oil-eating bacteria. Light micrograph of a group of Ochrobactrum anthropi bacteria. These bacteria (formerly known as Achromobacter) are motile, Gram-negative aerobic bacteria found in water. They can degrade crude oil, which has led to their use in cleaning up oil spills without further damaging the environment. Biological methods are preferred to chemical methods when oil has been released into a living ecosystem. They have been reported to be pathogenic in humans in rare instances, causing a form of bacterial meningitis which requires prompt treatment with antibiotics. This is a differential interference contrast micrograph. Magnification: x800 at 35mm size.
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