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Announcing Sacred Mounds, a novel of Magical Realism and Historical Fantasy from Jim Metzner, with a foreword by Hutke Fields, principal chief of the Natchez Nation.
Cyclonic hordes of insects, a telepathic despot, body-swapping sex - just a few of the surprises Salvador Samuels encounters when he is swept back to pre-colonial times, walking in the moccasins of a blind Indian - who, in turn, has been transported into Salvador's body in present-day America. Sacred Mounds Book Cover Four hundred years apart, they are bound by a mission to rescue our world, aided by the mysterious presence of the mounds. Thousands of these ancient earthworks once dotted the landscape of North America. We still don't know why they were created. Sacred Mounds suggests they are as important today as when they were made over a thousand years ago. Sacred Mounds weaves the stories of two men, each a stranger in a strange land. With the help of two remarkable women, they must find a way to save our planet and return home.
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Microbes: The Pulse of the Planet daily radio program offers free legal online mp3 downloads, exploring the world of sound in nature, culture and science, with audio adventures, world music, extraordinary sound portraits, science diaries, and nature ring-tones; an amazing sonic experience.



Airdate: Jul 05, 2010
Scientist: Terry Hazen

Microbes

Microbes
Microbes outweigh all the plants and animals on Earth, and they can degrade any compound - even oil.

Transcript:
TH: "There is no compound manmade or natural that microbes can't degrade."

JM: Microbes are microscopic organisms found everywhereunderground, in clouds, in your car, and in your body. If you took all the microbes in the world and were able to somehow weigh them, they would be heavier than all the plants and animals in the world, combined. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Terry Hazen is a microbiologist and head of the Ecology Department at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He studies the role of microbes on our planet, including their ability to decontaminate the natural environment.

TH: "Microorganisms can actually bioremediate, which means they can degrade a complex organic compound, and they can transform it completely to water and carbon dioxide. So, complete, what we call, mineralization. They can also take metals, for example, and can change their properties so that they combine with different compounds and then make them less toxic. Of course, they can also make them more toxic. It depends on what the metal is and the particular conditions."

JM: One example is Chromium 6, a cancer-causing compound that made headlines with Erin Brockovich in the 1990s. Well, scientists can recruit microbes to convert Chromium 6by changing its chemistryto a non-toxic compound: Chromium 3. Now, it turns out that microbes may be the best way to clean up oil spills, and we'll hear more about that in future programs.

Listen to our complete interview with Terry Hazen at pulseplanet.com.

Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.