That faint whirring sound you hear is every alchemist spinning in his grave.
Scientists have discovered bacteria that eats toxic material and, well, poops pure gold. This microbial magician, named Cupriavidus metallidurans, when placed in a minilab full of gold chloride, a nasty toxin, gobbled up the poison and, in about a week, processed it out as 24-karat nuggets of the precious yellow metal. The bacteria was found to be 25 times more resistant to the gold-based toxic chemical than believed and most likely does its amazing alchemy regularly in nature.
Is it the answer to the international debt crisis? Probably not. It takes gold to make gold chloride which makes the toxin about as rare as the precious metal itself—and it costs a mint to manufacture in a lab. But it's nice to know that something out there is helping our environmental cause AND making us a small profit in the process.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Ebola Story
How our minds build narratives out of disaster.
The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola
PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer
The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics
A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers
Welcome to 13th Grade!
Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.
The Actual World
“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.