- News Home
6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
Vol. 343 ,
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
- 6 March 2014 1:04 pm , Vol. 343 , #6175
- About Us
ScienceShot: Solid Gold, Thanks to Bacteria
3 September 2010 1:53 pm
Treasure hunters may have an unexpected ally in bacteria. The secret lies in a thin layer of microbes, known as a biofilm, that researchers found enveloping gold grains in a Queensland mine. The biofilm dissolves the gold on contact, creating toxic gold ions that can break down the bacteria's cell walls. But the bacteria fight back by transforming the ions into metallic gold nanoparticles that later coalesce into lace-like crystals across the surface. This form of gold is much purer than the original gold grains, which also contain silver and mercury, and is thus much more attractive to miners, the team reports this month in Geology. The researchers speculate if they could genetically modify the bacteria to fluoresce when they purify the gold, the bugs could become something even more important: Microbial metal detectors.
See more ScienceShots.