Oil-eating bacteria have been implanted into porous silicon fibers that in turn are spun into a spongy material that can be deployed to soak up oil spills, writes Mark Crawford. The development takes cooperation between biology and engineering into a new field, beyond biomedicine and bio-engineering. "What is unique about our approach is that we can show that biology can be used in industry, as well in large scales, to solve problems of significance such as pollution control and bioremediation at very low cost and in a 'green' way," said mechanical engineering professor Alptekin Aksan, who was part of the University of Minnesota's team of developers.

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