From the Greek meaning 'heavy with wine'
A blog devoted to science and reason
Written after a glass or two of Pinot Noir.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pooping Gold Bricks

Did that get your attention? As in my last post, this is a story of bacterial action. In this case, Kazem Kashefi, a microbiologist, and Adam Brown, an artist, used Cupriavidus metallidurans, a bacterium that can metabolize gold chloride.

Gold chloride, also called liquid gold, is a highly toxic compound. The bacterium is an extremophile, a microorganism that thrives in extreme conditions like extremely hot or cold climates or in toxic chemical conditions.

The gold that is extracted is pure, that is 24 karat. In the photo below, you see the gold particles. The largest one shown is about 1.5 millimeters wide; the smallest one is about the size of a human hair.

For more infromation about the art project, visit The Great Work of the Metal Lover.
CREDIT: Adam W. Brown

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