Gold fever

¿What have in common the mines of the Far West and the eucalyptus trees in Australia? The gold!

Researchers from Perth have found tiny particles of gold in eucalyptus trees. This discovery could help future prospectors to find underground deposits without the need to drill, because that trees, are sitting on top of gold deposits.

leaves

The tree acts as a hydraulic pump because its roots extend tens of meters down in the ground, drawing up water which contains the gold. Leaves stored microscopic gold particles about eight micrometers wide. It seems that gold is toxic to the plant, for these reason is stored in the leaves, they can be released to the ground. But it is not a big deal, the average concentration of gold in the leaves is about 46 parts per billion, less than 0.000005 percent of each leaf by weight.

But, if Koalas feed on eucalyptus leaves, what happens with them?

koala

more information: http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2013/131022/ncomms3614/full/ncomms3614.html

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