Deep-sea plumes: A rush to judgment?

Studies yield data — but a paucity of information

By Janet Raloff, 15:28 PM August 25, 2010

A new study released on Aug. 24 reported the discovery of a novel bacterium in diffuse, deep-sea clouds of oil that had been spewed by BP’s damaged Deepwater Horizon well. And according to the paper's lead author, a microbial ecologist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the bacterium's appetite for oil is so voracious that hoards of it swarmed to a plume his team had been studying — and then gobbled it up. Completely.

That’s what Terry Hazen told me and many other reporters.

And it...

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