Develop Biological Solutions for Intractable Environmental Problems
DOE has intractable contamination challenges at diverse sites
around the country, making accurate prediction of contaminant
behavior critical in determining the need for restoration and
in suggesting stabilization or restoration strategies (see A Legacy
of Hazardous Waste).
Understanding the complex interactions of microbes with
contaminants and the subsurface environment— a Genomic Science
goal—will allow such predictions to be based on
fundamental biological, geochemical, and hydrological
properties of specific environments.
Subsurface Biogeochemistry: Goals and Impacts
Understand and incorporate the effects of biological
processes into computer models describing the fate and
transport of contaminants in the environment. This
knowledge could result in savings in the billions of
dollars by supporting decisions to take advantage of
natural attenuation alternatives, use subsurface biogeochemistry
for previously intractable problems, or improve the
efficiency of conventional technologies.
Develop new or improved subsurface biogeochemical strategies and
technologies to save potentially billions of dollars
over traditional treatments. This may offer
solutions in previously intractable cases (i.e., where
there was no solution at any price).
Develop new suites of biosensors and performance
assessment and monitoring techniques to track progress
of environmental cleanup strategies and optimize
operation of current cleanup techniques.
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Text adapted from Genomics:GTL Roadmap: Systems Biology for Energy and Environment, U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, August 2005. DOE/SC-0090.