Researchers Discover Bacteria That Can Produce Pure Gold

The gold you see in the photo above was not found in a river or a mine. It was produced by a bacteria that, according to researchers at Michigan State University, can survive in extreme toxic environments and create 24-karat gold nuggets. Pure gold.

Maybe this critter can save us all from the global economic crisis.

Or at least make Kazem Kashefi — assistant professor of microbiology and molecular genetics — and Adam Brown — associate professor of electronic art and intermedia — rich. They are the ones who have created a compact laboratory that uses the bacteria Cupriavidus metallidurans to turn gold chloride — a toxic chemical liquid you can find in nature — into 99.9 per cent pure gold.

Accoding to Kashefi, they are doing "microbial alchemy" by "something that has no value into a solid, precious metal that's valuable".

The bacteria is incredibly resistant to this toxic element. In fact, it's 25 times stronger than previously thought. The researchers' compact factory — which they named The Great Work of the Metal Lover — holds the bacteria as they feed it the gold chloride. In about a week, the bacteria does its job, processing all that junk into the precious metal — a process they believe happens regularly in nature.

So, yes, basically, Cupriavidus metallidurans can eat toxins and poop out gold nuggets.

It seems that medieval alchemists were looking for the Philosopher's Stone — the magic element that could turn lead to gold — in the wrong place. It's not a mineral. It's a bug. [Michigan State University]

The gold laboratory created by Kashefi and Brown. It contains the bacteria and the toxic crap they feed it.

This is Cupriavidus metallidurans in action, eating away the toxins and producing the gold.


Comments

    Alchemy! Burn the heretics!

    So how much do they predict they'll be able to make in a day? Would it be more than one or two picograms?

    But can it make me immortal?

      But can it make me dinner ?

        But will it buy me a drink?

          But can it run Crysis?

            does it use android or iOS?

              But will it blend?

                But will it smell like nice Cross that out, if people can drink coffee made from civet excrement, I guess poop jewellery's no big deal

      Can it count to potato?

    It's the proof of concept that's what is exciting. On current scale it's relatively irrelevant but with scale...

    Well this may be able to revolutionise gold production if it can be used in gold recovery process.... Similar to Bio leaching in Copper extraction. Less harmful chemicals to enter the environment... Maybe.

    So it eats chlorine?

    That ain't transmutation!

    I am sure that the Chloride could be easily separated from the gold without this bacteria too...

      Doing something similar to energy intensive processes like aluminium production would be great.

    ok - so they're just reducing aqueous gold ions to it's metallic state rather than actually 'creating gold from lead/iron whatever' as the alchemists wanted?

    "The researchers’ compact factory — which they named The Great Work of the Metal Lover — holds the bacteria as they feed it the gold chloride "....

    I guess "bacterial equivalent of 'electroplating'" sounds a lot less exciting

    how much does the gold chloride cost to purchase and then ship? I'm guessing this isn't economical.

      About $349 US plus $11.60 US postage for just under a gram of the stuff. If that were 1 gram of pure gold it would be worth less than $60 US. But of course when you look at Gold Chloride just being a complex form of gold and chlorine mixed together, you would probably have well under 1 gram of gold there.

      Here's my reference. This is vintage stuff though so actual prices are going to be nothing like this.
      http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Kodak-Gold-Chloride-15-Grains-0-97-grams-Sealed-Unused-photo-bx2-/380408588259?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item58921e67e3#ht_500wt_1414

      Or you can get it in "GLASS CUP MUG DISH" form.

      http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/RUBY-RED-CUP-VINTAGE-DEPRESSION-GOLD-CHLORIDE-LOVELY-PATTERN-GLASS-CUP-MUG-DISH-/290780492663?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43b3de3377#ht_1694wt_1397

    Wow gold will drop in price I think , but good for electronics

      This will not change a thing. At best it will allow for easier recycling of gold chloride waste if there is such a thing and then you need to remember this isn't creating any more elemental gold, just separating it from something else... In most likely small quantities if this is used somewhere in the future. Last I hear we don't have lakes of gold chloride all around the place.

    the title is misleading... it should be more like "researchers discover bacteria that can extract pure gold" not produce...

    Whats the next most valuable resource the finance world can rely on to underpin all transactions, platinum? what ever it is buy now and sell gold !

    @JustDoIt. I was thinking the same thing... how much! Surely the fantastic thing about a bacterial process is that you can REALLY scale things up.

    But what if they begin to devalue gold! It could destroy the economy!
    It's a good thing science doesn't care about the economy.

    Wow nice project :)
    Wanna improve this process in large scale....;)

    Am i getting trolled?

    can i have fries with that?

    So, they just eat the gold-chloride fruit, fart the chlorine and poop out gold?

    I can see a near future bacterial crisis that this thing will mutate and turn everything into gold......

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