Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Bacteria turn toxic metals into gold poop

High concentrations of heavy metals are toxic for most living creatures. However, that is not the case for the bacterium C metallidurans, which has found a way to extract valuable trace elements from a compound of heavy metals without poisoning itself. The bacteria produces tiny gold nuggets as a side-effect.

As early as 2009 researchers were able to prove that C metallidurans is able to deposit gold biologically.
In nature, C metallidurans plays a key role in the formation of so-called secondary gold, which emerges following the breakdown of primary, geologically created, ancient gold ores.

It transforms the toxic gold particles formed by the weathering process into harmless gold particles, thereby producing tiny gold nuggets.