Microbiology: The Oil Eaters

Oilmen have long known why the black mess made by an overflowing well disappears so soon from the smirched ground. Road builders understand equally why blacktop pavement is eaten away from below. The guilty parties in both cases are microorganisms that go for hydrocarbons like kittens lapping spilled cream. Until recently no one made much of the hungry bugs' peculiar tastes blast week Research Director Alfred Champagnat of Société Française des Pétroles, a subsidiary of British Petroleum Co Ltd. announced that he has domesticated the oil eaters and that they are excellent...

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