This is todd domboski, a 12-year-old centralia resident in 1981 (so almost two decades since the fire started). He was walking in his home town when all of a sudden the ground gave out beneath him! He was knee deep in wet mud with HOT steam spewing up all around him. Luckily he held onto this tree root because moments later, the ground began to sink even more. He yelled for help until his cousin found him and pulled him out. Todd is a perfect example of the real danger centralia residents were in… the ground could collapse beneath their feet at any time… he was in even more danger though
Officials later checked and that steam was full of deadly levels of carbon monoxide… even with the tree branch, Todd could have died from suffocation… outside! These toxic gases coming up with the steam also contained well known poisons such as arsenic, mercury, and lead
It was therefore no longer safe to live in Centralia… t
This one bustling town was then bough up by the government and flattened…
We’re especially interested in these “weapons” or antibiotics that might be produced in centralia because we’re running out! With superbugs on the rise and less antibiotics discovered each year, it’s important to think of creative ways to find more antibiotics…
Soil is a good place to start. In fact, most antibiotics come from soil microbes Streptomyces produce antibiotics that help with pneumoniea and pink eye Bacillus produce antibiotics that make up neosporin
Centralia soils are extreme with their high temperatures toxins like arsenic. This makes these soils unique but untested!
Centralia bacteria could be harboring new antibiotics as their weapons in a post-apocolyptic world ! We just need to find them…
This makes a new type of mining in Centralia – mining for antibiotics! Here’s a picture of our lab in Centralia in 2015 mining for these life-saving, antibiotic producing bacteria.
How a small town trash fire led to a different kind of mining in coal country
Biology on Tap
Jackson Sorensen &Taylor Dunivin
How a small town trash fire led
to a different kind of mining in