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Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology

Where Science Meets Society

Research to investigate oil field biosouring with new technology

A new IGB research project seeks to solve a $90 billion global problem in the oil industry while making oil drilling less harmful to the environment.    

Bruce Fouke, Professor in the departments of Geology and Microbiology and director of the Roy J. Carver Biotechnology Center, was awarded a three-year grant from the Dow Chemical Company to study a process known as oil field biosouring. Fouke is also an IGB faculty member in the Biocomplexity research theme.

Is it possible that the Ancient Romans beat us with their aqueducts?

For hundreds of years, the Anio Novus aqueduct carried water 87 km (54 miles) from the Aniene River of the Apennine Mountains down into Rome. Built between AD 38 and 52, scholars continue to struggle to determine how much water the Anio Novus supplied to the Eternal City—until now.

By studying limestone deposits that formed from the flowing water within the aqueduct, called travertine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers reported in the Journal of Archaeological Science an actual estimate for the aqueduct’s flow rate of 1.4 m^3/s (± 0.4).

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