Engineered plants and bacteria could mine platinum

| | November 29, 2012
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Fields of native flowers may soon become high tech nanoparticle factories if a team of scientists in the United Kingdom succeeds in using plants to extract soil pollutants which bacteria will then process into useful materials.

Some plants, the flower Alyssum for example, naturally draw certain chemicals, such as arsenic and platinum, from the soil. The plants concentrate the chemicals in their tissues, which makes them naturals at reclaiming polluted land.

“We have access to a global dataset of plant/crop genetics and capabilities that will allow us to identify suitable native species. One key aspect is to ensure that no impacts on localized biodiversity occur,” said Kiwan.

View the original article here: The Future’s Platinum: Flower Power

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