Bacteria Excrete Nanoscale Gold Nuggets
Could scientists one day be panning for gold in a Petri dish? McMaster Univ. researchers have discovered that a gold-dwelling bacterium excretes a small molecule capable of forming solid gold.
Nathan Magarvey and his team have found the bacterium Delftia acidovorans can turn toxic, water-soluble gold – ions of the metal that are dissolved in water – into gold aggregates. “It has long been known that Delftia acidovorans live on gold nuggets in biofilms, though how such bacteria avoid gold-mediated toxicity has been a mystery,” Magarvey says.
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