Second day of the joint retreat. Went for a lab tour at my own centre, to see what other people were doing. Most scientists are not 'mad scientists' like the media portray them (and don't wear white coats very often, at least in Japan), but the owner of this lab fitted the bill. He has discovered that a species of algae will accumulate gold in its chloroplasts, until the algal cells are 10% gold, at which point they die. The gold is in nanoparticles, which turns the algae a sort of purple colour. This could be used to extract trace amounts of gold from mine water or rivers, if the technology can be scaled up.

Industry are, of course, very interested, and everything in his lab was new and sparkling. My favourite part was these bottles, with varying stages of algal growth.

Thanks to all for view, comments and stars on my blip of the week :D

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