Scientists have discovered bizarre evidence in the US state of Wyoming – that bacteria hidden deep within the Earth’s crust secrete uranium. Uranium, the silvery white metal known for its radioactive properties and usage in nuclear power plants, is thought to occur within ore deposits in the form of uraninite. The uranium in this form is usually mined from sandstone “roll-front” deposits. But the latest findings published in Nature Communications challenge long-held beliefs about the way uranium can be formed. Geologists now believe uranium is produced biologically, in a series of chemical reactions in Earth’s crust that take place over millions of years.
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