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Living on Thin Air

Prof Gregory Cook (left) and Dr Chris Greening (right)

Prof Gregory Cook (left) and Dr Chris Greening (right) have been investigating the role of hydrogen in the adaptation of myco­bacteria to starvation and hypoxia. Credit: Sharron Bennett

By Chris Greening

Soil bacteria can survive lengthy periods without food or water by metabolising hydrogen. How they do this has wider implications for understanding the biology of soils, the chemistry of the atmosphere and the development of artificial catalysts to harness hydrogen as a fuel source.

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