start here

start here

The Daily IKN email digest, get all daily posts sent to you next day (& no ads)

I say things on Twitter

10/16/09

Shock! IKN discovers an interesting gold bug


Thanks due to kind reader 'HP' for headsup (no, that's not him above).

This article in New Scientist points the way to the research done by a team of boffins led up by Australian Frank Reith. These dudes have identified a bacteria that does nothing less than extract gold from its environment. Here's how New Scientist puts it
".....Frank Reith of the University of Adelaide, South Australia, has found that dissolved gold is harmful to the bacterium Cupriavidus metallidurans, as it forms a toxic sulphur-containing compound when it is absorbed from the environment. This compound inhibits the bacterium's enzyme function, prompting the distressed microbe to activate a cluster of "gold detox" genes that produce enzymes able to convert the soluble gold compounds into harmless particles of metallic gold."
CONTINUES HERE.

This might sound a bit left-field, but if you do the right thing and check the original paper (IKN found it for you on this link right here, metalheads), there's a lot of solid science going on. As Frank&Co conclude
"The discovery of active microbially driven biomineralization may lead to the development of technical applications, such as biosensor- (34, 35) and for ore processing technology. Likely, the Au-specific genetic responses identified may lead to the development of Au-specific biosensor technology enabling in situ Au measurements that could revolutionize the exploration for Au deposits and improve efficiency in Au extraction and hydrometallurgical processes."

Clearly, these scientist dudettes and dudes have never heard of Jim Sinclair, otherwise they'd be holding the world to ransom by now. DYODD.