Out of the darkness of oil soaked news come a couple of bright spots... There's a bacteria that eats oil, made by a company in Sarasota, Florida. It might be the solution to the crude crud that pours into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico daily.
And there's aerogel, developed by NASA.
NASA-created aerogel, once used to capture comet dust, could soon solve more down-to-Earth problems.
Scientists from Ohio and Arizona are creating aerogels that can absorb oil from spills or stop pollutants from ever reaching the environment.
"It would be put on top of the water, where it will float on the surface and absorb oil and then, just like a kitchen sponge, you could squeeze the oil out," said Matt Gawryla, a scientist at Ohio-based AeroClay Inc.
AeroClay is working to commercialize the aerogel technology originally developed at Case Western Reserve University.
Read about it here: http://news.discovery.com/tech/aerogel
Discovery.com also has an article in tech about another possible oil buster:
"Fibertect, developed by Seshadri Ramkumar, an associate professor of nonwoven technologies at the university's Institute of Environment and Human Health. Top and bottom layers are made from raw cotton to absorb the oil and the center consists of a fibrous activated carbon where the oil gets contained, according to a description from the university. The material, which is biodegradable on its own, can absorb up to 15 times its weight."