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Meet the bacteria that poops 24-carat gold

Oh, bacteria. Micro-organisms get a bad reputation sometimes for wrecking havoc on our systems with infections, but these bacteria prove it’s not all doom and gloom… but glitter? A bunch of researchers from Michigan State University started feeding the Cupriavidus metallidurans bacteria massive amounts of the naturally-occurring toxic auric chloride, only to discover the bacteria really, really liked it, metabolising the toxins to produce 24k-carat gold.

Sadly though, the process is so costly it wouldn’t make sense to turn it into a money-making bacterial poopfest. Still, a microbiologist Kazem Kashefi and artist Adam W Brown did make an art installation out of this microbial alchemy a few years back, provoking the thought: What is really valuable?

Via Ecouterre

Gold bacterial poop
Gold bacterial poop
Gold bacterial poop

About the author

Low Lai Chow travels light and is working on exercising demons from her past. Find out more about her at lowlaichow.com.