ORNL-led research team unlocks mercury mystery

ORNL-led research team unlocks mercury mystery

February 8th, 2013 by The Knoxville News Sentinel in Local - Breaking News

Research program head Liyuan Liang shows samples of DNA associated with methymercury studies Wednesday at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Her team has identified two genes in microorganisms that are at least partly responsible for an environmental process that converts mercury into its most toxic form - methylmercury.

Photo by The Knoxville News Sentinel /Times Free Press.

OAK RIDGE - An Oak Ridge-based research team has identified two genes in microorganisms that are responsible for an environmental process that converts mercury into its most toxic form - methylmercury.

The discovery is being hailed by scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory as a long-awaited breakthrough and a possible step toward minimizing the global health hazards of mercury in the environment.

The research results will be published in the prestigious journal Science.

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