Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Environmentally Friendly Flatulence

From the Independent (UK)

Until recently, we may have thought that the most interesting things about kangaroos were their mean left hooks and, in the case of Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, their ability to rescue lost children from the wilds of Australia.

But, thanks to research carried out in Queensland for the past four years, and released last month, the marsupial's cleverest trick is its ability to produce environmentally friendly farts. Researchers have isolated the bacteria in the stomach lining of kangaroos that means their farts contain no methane, a greenhouse gas far more damaging than carbon dioxide. 

The team, led by Dr. Athol Klieve, believes that unlocking this secret could lead to the creation of more climate-friendly cattle. Between them, the flatulent farm animals produce so much methane that they account for 14 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions in Australia, second only to power stations. But if the kangaroo bacteria were added to cattle feed, the researchers hope they could create herds with much lower carbon footprints.

You really wanted to know all about that, didn't you?

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