BBC Program Spotlights ORNL Mercury Research

The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) recently featured ORNL mercury research as part of its series on Pollution Solutions: Reversing the Effects of Pollution. SFA accomplishments—including discovery of the two-gene cluster responsible for microbial mercury methylation—were highlighted, along with other mercury-focused research within ORNL's Environmental Sciences Division, such as fish-sample collection to assess methylmercury bioaccumulation in the food web.

Senior Scientist Eric Pierce noted the potentially far-reaching effects of basic research to understand the biochemical mechanisms of methylmercury production. “The knowledge . . . as well as the technology that we develop out of these various projects solves mercury problems not only here, but really globally,” he said. "The work that we're doing provides knowledge for mercury challenges worldwide."

The BBC video, titled Episode 6: Fishing for Mercury, can be viewed here.
[last aired Feb 14, 2016]

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The ORNL Mercury SFA is sponsored by the Subsurface Biogeochemical Research (SBR) program within the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Biological and Environmental Research.