Gold-digging microbe

Gold-digging microbe

By spitting out a molecule, a bacterium draws solid gold out of solution

By Rachel Ehrenberg, 17:10 PM February 1, 2013

Forget ancient maps and metal detectors. Those seeking hidden gold might do well to add bacteria to their toolbox. The bacterium Delftia acidovorans secretes a molecule that binds to dissolved gold and turns it into shiny, solid gold, scientists have discovered.

The bacterium — and perhaps others like it — might one day process gold at mining sites or create gold nanoparticles with desirable properties, says geomicrobiologist Frank Reith,  a research fellow at the University of Adelaide in ...

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