Cupriavidus Metallidurans: The Goldbugs’ Ben Bernanke
Cupriavidus metallidurans shits gold. Seriously. The microbe, when placed amid an environment chalk full of the toxin gold chloride, gobbles up the point and, after one week, shits out 24-karat turds. The microbe is approximately as rare as the bacteria itself, and is grown in the laboratory on large concentrations of gold chloride, a toxin also known as liquid gold. “This is neo-alchemy. Every part, every detail of the project is a cross between modern microbiology and alchemy,” Brown said in an October 1 press release. “Science tries to explain the phenomenological world. As an artist, I’m trying to create a phenomenon. Art has the ability to push scientific inquiry.”
The bug might be a golden investment amid economic crisis. As rare as gold itself, you could have your own pet farm creating for you mountains of gold, not dust, but excrement. Surely the ruling class might see use for these bugs, and perhaps an army of gold-shitting Cupriavidus metallidurans’ will be the arms against the fiat printing presses.
On October 1, Michigan State University announced that Associate Professor of electronic art, intermedia Adam Brown and Assistant Professor of microbiology and molecular genetics Kazem Kashefi had found that the metal-tolerant bacteria could grow in a highly-toxic environment. The bacteria, the trio found, is 25 times stronger than previously believed. Kashefi calls the process “microbial alchemy.” It has been put on display in an art installation called ”The Great Work of the Metal Lover.” The lab is portable, and consists of 24-karat gold-plated hardware, glass bio-reactor and the bacteria. Brown placed 24-karat gold leaf from the bioreactor over areas of the image where gold deposits had been identified. The installation is on display at the Prix Ars Electronica in Austria through Oct. 7 where it received an honorable mention.
from → Precious Metal News