There's Gold In Them Thar Tree Leaves!

Australian researchers have discovered particles of gold in the leaves of eucalyptus trees, and speculate that they're coming up from larger deposits underground.

What's the Latest Development?


Researchers from Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) say they've discovered traces of gold inside the leaves, twigs, and bark of certain eucalyptus trees with the help of the country's synchrotron, which uses X-rays to reveal extremely detailed composition information. Such particles have been found before in the soil around the trees, but the new findings -- published in Nature Communications -- show that they're absorbing them from hitherto-untapped deposits located more than 30 meters (about 100 feet) underground.

What's the Big Idea?

Besides the fact that vegetation analysis of this type could help explorers discover new sources of gold while minimizing the financial cost and environmental impact of excavation, it could also reveal whether plants are sitting atop other mineral deposits, such as iron or copper. CSIRO geochemist Mel Lintern says: "We've found a lot of the easy deposits in Australia and elsewhere in the world as well. Now we are trying to tackle finding these more difficult ones that are buried beneath tens of metres of river sediments and sand dunes. And the trees are providing us with a method to be able to do this."

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at BBC News

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

Public Domain
Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Want to age gracefully? A new study says live meaningfully

Thinking your life is worthwhile is correlated with a variety of positive outcomes.

YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • A new study finds that adults who feel their lives are meaningful have better health and life outcomes.
  • Adults who felt their lives were worthwhile tended to be more social and had healthier habits.
  • The findings could be used to help improve the health of older adults.
Keep reading Show less