The industrial revolution, the first agricultural 'green revolution', and the development of antibiotics and therapeutic chemicals have brought significant and undeniable benefits to the human race. However, these advances demand high levels of energy, exploit natural resources and create large amounts of waste that creates an environmental burden for our planet. The pollution rate and character of many of the pollutants results in a rapid deterioration of the environment. Bioremediation functions to isolate and select microorganisms that operate under aerobic and anoxic conditions to remove these harmful pollutants. Current 'omics' technologies allow the exploitation of the catabolic potential of microbes without the need to cultivate them. Synthetic microbiology builds new catabolic pathways to remove recalcitrant pollutants from the environment.
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