Superman-Strength Bacteria Produce 24-Karat Gold, Michigan State University Study

Published: Oct 04, 2012

At a time when the value of gold has reached an all-time high, Michigan State University researchers have discovered a bacterium’s ability to withstand incredible amounts of toxicity is key to creating 24-karat gold. "Microbial alchemy is what we're doing—transforming gold from something that has no value into a solid, precious metal that's valuable," says Kazem Kashefi, assistant professor of microbiology and molecular genetics. He and Adam Brown, associate professor of electronic art and intermedia, found the metal-tolerant bacteria Cupriavidus metallidurans can grow on massive concentrations of gold chloride—or liquid gold, a toxic chemical compound found in nature.

Back to news