Bacteria modify the global mineral cycle in two important ways: they induce nearby minerals to precipitate (settle out of solution), and they internally manufacture minerals. Bacteria swimming in a river help precipitate the great gold deposits of South Africa. Today, these wee wonders head for the mines in Russia. Miners pump microbes and water into thin or hard-to-reach veins.
Initial research indicates that microbes biologically induce over 27 kinds of minerals. Which minerals these versatile fellows form depends upon their environment and their own genetic capabilities.
University of Montana--Missoula. Environmental Studies Program
© 1997 Stiftung Drittes Millennium
Digital File Format
Digital Image Number
Liebes, Sid; Mittelstadt, Laurie; Waugh, Barbara; and Brynes, Lois, "Panel 22: Microbial Mining And Manufacturing" (1997). A Walk Through Time - From Stardust To Us. 22.