News of the WeekMicrobiology

Shale-Eating Microbes Recycle Global Carbon

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Science  11 May 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5519, pp. 1043
DOI: 10.1126/science.292.5519.1043

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On page 1127, geochemists describe a new role for microbes: promoting the release of organic material locked up in the sedimentary rock shale. The work fills a gap in the global carbon and oxygen cycles, although other researchers caution that it remains to be seen just how important this newly unearthed microbial contribution is.