(p. 6A) LOS ANGELES — Scientists have isolated a bacterium from the gut of Australian Tammar wallabies that allows the animals to consume and digest grasses, leaves and other plant material without producing copious amounts of methane, as cattle do.
The microbe was discovered through a process described in a report published online recently by the journal Science.
Ultimately, the microbe might be put to use to reduce the carbon footprint of cows and other ruminants, said report co-author Mark Morrison, a microbial biologist in St. Lucia, Queensland.
. . .
The methane-rich burps and flatulence of cattle have been blamed for 28 percent of that greenhouse gas’s global emissions due to human activity. Like other cud-chewing mammals, they produce methane as their systems work to break down and ferment the plant matter they eat.
For the full story, see:
THE LOS ANGELES TIMES. “Wallaby microbe may one day help cut cows’ methane footprint.” Omaha World-Herald (Monday, July 4, 2011): 6A.
(Note: ellipsis added.)