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In brief: Methane from spill eaten by bacteria

Washington – Scientists are still trying to account for what happened to all of the oil from the BP blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, but they now know what happened to the even greater amounts of natural gas that gushed from the broken well.

Bacteria ate just about all of it by August.

The discovery was released on Thursday in report for the journal Science by John D. Kessler, an oceanographer at Texas A&M University, and his colleagues.

One of the reasons scientists are interested in methane, the main component of the natural gas that flowed from the broken BP well, is that it’s a very potent heat-trapping gas. A huge reservoir of methane lies under the ocean floor, especially near continents.

In the BP disaster, there was no measurable loss of methane to the atmosphere. The methane remained trapped in a deep-water layer until the bacteria finished it off within about four months after the spill began on April 22.

Unlisted allergen forces recall

San Francisco – A San Francisco-based pasta company on Thursday began pulling thousands of pounds of its frozen meat and poultry tamale products from stores because they contain an allergen that is not listed on the label.

Homestead Pasta Co. is recalling approximately 144,633 pounds of the frozen meat and poultry products because they contain the undeclared allergen whey, the United States Department of Agriculture announced Thursday.

Whey is a known dairy allergen, the USDA said.

The products were produced from April 2010 until January 2011 and shipped for retail sales in California, Oregon and Washington and for institutional use in California.

The recall includes products sold in cases under the names of Garibaldi Beef Tamale, Garibaldi Turkey Tamale, Golden West Traditional Beef Tamale With Sauce in Husk, Golden West Traditional Turkey Tamale With Sauce in Husk, Casper Homestead Pasta Co. Beef Tamale and Casper Homestead Pasta Co. Chicken Tamale.


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