Researchers use art installation to demonstrate 24k gold from bacteria

October 4, 2012 |

In Michigan, Michigan State University researchers have discovered a bacterium’s ability to withstand incredible amounts of toxicity is key to creating 24-karat gold.  The researchers found that the metal-tolerant bacteria Cupriavidus metallidurans can grow on massive concentrations of gold chloride — or liquid gold, a toxic chemical compound found in nature.

The researchers created an art installation, “The Great Work of the Metal Lover,” which uses a combination of biotechnology, art and alchemy to turn liquid gold into 24-karat gold. The artwork contains a portable laboratory made of 24-karat gold-plated hardware, a glass bioreactor and the bacteria, a combination that produces gold in front of an audience.

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