Navigation Links
There's gold in them thar trees
Date:10/23/2013

Eucalyptus trees - or gum trees as they are know - are drawing up gold particles from the earth via their root system and depositing it their leaves and branches.

Scientists from CSIRO made the discovery and have published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

"The eucalypt acts as a hydraulic pump its roots extend tens of metres into the ground and draw up water containing the gold. As the gold is likely to be toxic to the plant, it's moved to the leaves and branches where it can be released or shed to the ground," CSIRO geochemist Dr Mel Lintern said.

The discovery is unlikely to start an old-time gold rush the "nuggets" are about one-fifth the diameter of a human hair. However, it could provide a golden opportunity for mineral exploration, as the leaves or soil underneath the trees could indicate gold ore deposits buried up to tens of metres underground and under sediments that are up to 60 million years old.

"The leaves could be used in combination with other tools as a more cost effective and environmentally friendly exploration technique," Dr Lintern said.

"By sampling and analysing vegetation for traces of minerals, we may get an idea of what's happening below the surface without the need to drill. It's a more targeted way of searching for minerals that reduces costs and impact on the environment.

"Eucalyptus trees are so common that this technique could be widely applied across Australia. It could also be used to find other metals such as zinc and copper."

Using CSIRO's Maia detector for x-ray elemental imaging at the Australian Synchrotron, the research team was able to locate and see the gold in the leaves. The Synchrotron produced images depicting the gold, which would otherwise have been untraceable.

"Our advanced x-ray imaging enabled the researchers to examine the leaves and produce clear images of the traces of gold and other metals, nestled within their structure," principal scientist at the Australian Synchrotron Dr David Paterson said.

"Before enthusiasts rush to prospect this gold from the trees or even the leaf litter, you need to know that these are tiny nuggets, which are about one-fifth the diameter of a human hair and generally invisible by other techniques and equipment."

CSIRO research using natural materials, such as calcrete and laterite in soils, for mineral exploration has led to many successful ore deposit discoveries in regional Australia. The outcomes of the research provide a direct boost to the national economy.


'/>"/>

Contact: Emily Lehmann
emily.lehmann@csiro.au
61-395-458-746
CSIRO Australia
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Despite menu changes, calorie and sodium levels in chain restaurant entrees remain the same overall
2. Watering the forest for the trees emerging as priority for forest management
3. Family trees for yeast cells
4. US urban trees store carbon, provide billions in economic value
5. Researchers pinpoint how trees play role in smog production
6. Campus as laboratory: U-M student biologists use Diag trees to help solve gypsy moth mystery
7. New study will predict how trees will adapt to rapid climate change
8. Death of hemlock trees yields new life for hardwood trees, but at what cost to the ecosystem?
9. Do palm trees hold the key to immortality?
10. New online tool estimates carbon and energy impact of trees
11. Climate warming unlikely to cause near-term extinction of Amazon trees, but threats remain
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
There's gold in them thar trees
(Date:4/6/2017)... Forecasts by Product Type (EAC), Biometrics, Card-Based ... & Logistics, Government & Public Sector, Utilities / Energy ... Nuclear Power), Industrial, Retail, Business Organisation (BFSI), Hospitality & ... for a definitive report on the $27.9bn Access Control ... ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... 2017 Today HYPR Corp. , leading ... component of the HYPR platform is officially FIDO® ... security architecture that empowers biometric authentication across Fortune 500 ... secured over 15 million users across the financial services ... home product suites and physical access represent a growing ...
(Date:4/4/2017)... 2017   EyeLock LLC , a leader of ... States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued U.S. ... of an iris image with a face image acquired ... company,s 45 th issued patent. ... given the multi-modal biometric capabilities that have recently come ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... The AMA is happy to announce that ... across the nation. The scholarships are created through funds donated by model aviation organizations ... are set by the AMA Scholarship Committee, which is made up of model aviation ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... ... April 20, 2017 , ... ... strategic partnership to offer a full spectrum of digital security goods and services. ... biometric products and the ground-breaking proactive cybersecurity services and products through Assured Enterprises. ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... Hong Kong (PRWEB) , ... April 20, 2017 , ... ... for Global Sales. , With over 20 years of experience in the learning technologies ... LEO, a sister company within Learning Technologies Group plc (LTG). At LEO, Mastin served ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... ... April 20, 2017 , ... ... a unique intellectual property (IP) sharing and commercialization model. , The Center for ... A main component of this effort is bringing the IP to the attention ...
Breaking Biology Technology: