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Rumpelstiltskin Molecule Spins Toxic Ions Into Gold

sciencehabit (1205606) writes | about a year and a half ago

Science 0

sciencehabit (1205606) writes "A microbe called Delftia acidovorans manufactures and secretes delftibactin, which forces gold ions to precipitate out of solution. As the bacteria carry out this job, they not only remove highly toxic gold ions from their surroundings, but they also create the neutrally charged gold nuggets on which it then makes a home. Researchers say that they've now isolated delftibactin for the first time. If scientists isolate enough of the molecule, could they harvest gold from the oceans? Perhaps. But then again, delftibactin also carries out the same trick with iron ions. So if you tried it on a large scale you might get lumps of iron instead."
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