Bling! Researchers create 24k gold in the lab

A close-up of gold flecks, created by science! (Click to enlarge.)

(Credit: G.L. Kohuth )

To put it lightly, something sensational happens upon feeding large concentrations of toxic gold chloride (also known as liquid gold) to the bacteria Cupriavidus metallidurans. After about a week’s time, the bacterium creates a 24-karat gold nugget from the digested toxins.

“Microbial alchemy is what we’re doing, transforming gold from something that has no value into a solid, precious metal that’s valuable,” said Kazem Kashefi, assistant professor of microbiology and molecular genetics at Michigan State University, where the research is taking place.

Gold formulating in the bioreactor.

(Credit: G.L. Kohuth )

Don’t get too excited, though, as the inventors describe the process as cost-prohibitive on a larger scale. Nonetheless, successfully creating gold in this way does raise questions about potential economic impact, as well as ethical queries regarding reverse-engineering natural processes.

Kashefi collaborat… [Read more]

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Origin: Crave: gorgeous gadgets and other crushworthy stuff. – CNET