Gold is a highly desired precious metal all over the world and is regarded as a status symbol by most. Have you ever wondered if there is an alternative way to create gold? Some scientists have been asking themselves this question and made a remarkable discovery: Cupriavidus metallidurans, known as the “metal-gobbling” bacteria actually can create gold! But they do this in a different way than what one would expect.
Being able to survive in a toxic environment isn’t something many organisms can do. It surely is one way to lower the number of natural enemies. This is one of the characteristics of the Cupriavidus metallidurans bacterium. It thrives in soil where most other organisms can’t.
The secret to how they ‘create’ gold is closely related to how they manage to survive in a hostile environment. Through a series of complex processes this bacterium manage to expel the toxins. Gold and copper ions reaching the internal cells has the potential to destruct and destroy. This tiny little bacterium has a perfect strategy to deal with this challenge.
Cupriavidus metallidurans live in soil which has hydrogen, as well as a range of toxic metals. They don’t have much competition because other organisms can’t survive in this toxic environment. To protect themselves from these toxic metal compounds, they have developed an amazing self-defence technique. They can easily consume copper because they have an enzyme called CupA, which breaks it down. Unfortunately, the presence of gold in the bacteria’s system causes the enzyme to stop working. To prevent itself from being poisoned by these toxic compounds the Cupriavidus metallidurans have another enzyme called CopA, which prevents the copper and gold from getting into their cellular interior. This enzyme allows the bacteria get rid of the excess copper, and as a by-product, tiny gold particles are created on the surface of the bacteria.
In a world where we are raising awareness about a greener way of living… this little bacterium is surely putting a new spin on bio-products. As geomicrobiologist Frank Reith said it: “The results of this study point to their involvement in the active detoxification of gold complexes leading to formation of gold biominerals.”
Well, most of us do not have laboratories filled with special micro-organisms, or geese for that matter, that lay the ‘golden eggs’. What we do have are two straight-forward golden questions to answer: Do we want gold? Do we want what gold can offer?
If you have old, broken, unwanted golden jewellery you no longer want, you can turn that into a little contribution to your retirement egg, or education nuggets how-to-sell-gold-and-diamonds-to-liquid-finance/) for your grandchildren. Selling your gold to buy a new, bigger, brighter diamond is fine too! Contact Liquid Fin for a free evaluation in a safe and secure environment. We pay on the spot via EFT should you accept our offer.