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Science

Submission + - BP-owned toxic lake filled with cancer-fighting ex (failuremag.com)

EagleHasLanded writes: The Berkeley Pit, an abandoned open pit copper mine in Butte, Montana—part of the largest Superfund site in the U.S.—is filled with 40 billion gallons of acidic, metal-contaminated water. For years the water was believed to be too toxic to support life, until Andrea and Donald Stierle, a pair of organic chemists at the Univ. of Montana discovered that the Pit is a rich source of unusual extremophiles, “many of which have shown great promise as producers of potential anti-cancer agents and anti-inflammatories.” In the course of their ongoing investigation, the two self-described “bioprospectors” have also discovered an uncommon yeast, which might play a significant role in cleaning up the site. In the meantime, the Pit has become a tourist attraction in Butte, which charges $2 for the opportunity to take in the view from the Viewing Stand.

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