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Gold

Physics

"World’s smallest engine" to power microscopic robots

It is often said that size matters. At the nano-scale level, where a lot of current research is being done, this adage also holds true, and several scientific teams have laid claim to creating the "world's smallest engine" built from particles of ever-shrinking dimensions. The latest, a nano-scale engine made from tiny charged particles of gold and developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge, is claimed to be the smallest of them all.Read More

Environment

A green process for extracting gold

A research team at the University of Saskatchewan has found what may be an inexpensive and environmentally-friendly way of recycling gold from jewelry and electronics. Using a solution of what is essentially reusable table vinegar, the team has shown that for CAD$66 (about US$47) it can produce one kilogram (2.2 lb) of gold with 100 liters (26 gal) of reusable waste water – this is as compared to current methods that can cost over CAD$1,500 (US$1,070) and create 5,000 liters (1,321 gal) of toxic, non-reusable waste. Read More

Environment

Gold and other valuable metals may be harvested from sewage

Mining operations tend not be very good for the environment, nor does the disposal of treated solid waste that still contains potentially-toxic metals. Now, however, scientists are looking into taking that waste and harvesting its trace amounts of metals such as gold, silver and platinum. Doing so could ultimately reduce the need for mining and decrease the amount of metals entering the environment, while also turning sewage into a source of revenue. Read More

Science

More human-friendly antibacterial coating made from gold

We've been hearing a lot about the antibacterial qualities of silver, with silver nanoparticles finding use in everything from water filters to food packaging. Unfortunately, there are also concerns about the toxicity of those particles, particularly when they enter our bodies. Now, however, Polish scientists have developed what they claim is a safer alternative – an antibacterial coating that kills microbes using gold. Read More

Medical

Gold nanotubes used to image and destroy cancer cells

For some time, the potential of gold nanoparticles as a diagnostics and imaging tool has been known to scientists, but new research suggests they could prove even more useful than previously thought. A team at the University of Leeds has discovered that shaping the particles in the form of nanotubes sees them take on a number of new properties, including the ability to be heated up to destroy cancer cells. Read More

Wearables

Aventicum watch comes with a tiny gold Roman emperor

It's not unusual to get a free whistle in a box of cereal, but what about a gold bust of a Roman emperor in a wristwatch? That may sound a bit out there, but upmarket Swiss watchmaker Christophe Claret's Aventicum watch not only has a Roman theme, but also a tiny engraved golden bust of Emperor Marcus Aurelius that seems to float over the center of the dial. Read More

Environment

Recapture system limits mercury exposure from gold purification

According to the World Gold Council, about 195,300 tons of gold have been dug out of the ground in all of human history. Countless lives have been lost obtaining the rare metal, and in the developing world, which currently accounts for 20 percent of the world's gold production, small-scale mining and smelting under primitive conditions poses a major health hazard. To help alleviate this, a team from Argonne National Laboratory and the US Environmental Protection Agency are developing a prototype mercury capture system to reduce heavy metal pollution.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Gold nanoparticles may be used to melt away fat

Liposuction may be a popular method of instant body fat reduction, but it certainly isn't perfect. Patients can experience bruising, there can be lumps that have to be addressed with a second procedure, plus things other than fat cells – such as connective tissue and nerves – can inadvertently also get removed. Two researchers, however, are developing what could be a better form of liposuction, that involves first using injected gold microparticles to melt the fat. Read More

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