Interesting article. It would be nice if this was a scale-able and affordable process.
Jerome Morley Larson Sr eAIA
S Michael
I wonder how it would react in my septic tank?
Charles Barnard
The big benefit will come if we can modify it or it's relatives to deal with detoxifying soils.
We really don't need gold, most of it is just reburied in vaults somewhere--bismuth is just as "rare" and perhaps more useful.
As always, energy is the key to cleaning or extracting/seperating.
Expanded Viewpoint
Since the bacteria are doing the work of purifying the gold out of the rest of the stuff they feed on, and have been doing so for a very long time all on their own, why do we need to intervene in that process? Why not just focus on collecting their waste products using energy collected from the sun and wind? Optimize their growth conditions and let them get to work!! As to us not needing gold, that fallacy is easily shown to be bunk by just looking at how every fiat paper currency monetary system has collapsed within a few years. And the longer they do last, relatively speaking, the more spectacular the crash when they do crash and fall apart. My paper titled What is Money? fully exposes this insanity that we do not need to have a medium of exchange which has a substantial amount of human labor involved in its creation.
Worth repeating...
"The researchers say that further understanding of this cycle may eventually allow gold to be wrung out of less rich ores, without the need for toxic chemicals like mercury."
Sounds like Butte, Montana could use a couple tons of these bacterium in the toxic waters of the pit. That toxic site is so full of heavy copper and other metals that my significant other, to this day, more than 40 years after she moved away, her hair still shows up on x-rays, something that is not normal
Bruce H. Anderson
I recall a Twilight Zone episode where a group of people had stolen a lot of gold, and then used a time machine to transport themselves and the gold into the future. It turned out that their location had become a wasteland, and as time went on the surviving member of the gang finally found civilization. Bedraggled and dying of thirst he pleaded for help saying "I have gold." He then collapsed. One person asked the other "Gold?" The other said, "yes, it used to be a precious metal in the past, but when they learned to synthesize it, it became worth very little." (something like that, it's been a while) Cue music. doodeedoodoo dodeedoodoo.......
Gold is used in most high end electronics, and all cell phones, (iirc). It has intrinsic value, as well as monetary value, and is also dissolved in the world's oceans. We could ,perhaps, help clean our oceans, as well as gain gold.
The bigger question is can a cupriavidus metallidurans or similar bacteria remove toxic from people. I think that is a question we as humans need answered.