They perform the gold-diggers’ function in the forests that grow above ore bodies – within multiple years they draw soluble salts out of the soil and die off leaving behind the concentrate with “enormous” precious metals content.
The researchers found native gold, silver and platinum salts in the dust of decayed stumps. A ton of their ashes contains 3 kilograms of silver, nearly 200 milligrams of gold and 5 grams of platinum.
The oxidation zone of some ore bodies is placed only at a distance of a meter and a half to three meters from the ground surface, and the tree roots can reach the zone. That is why, the researchers believe, the soil contains almost as much noble elements as the ore does. For centuries, trees and microorganisms gradually sucked them out of the depth and laid in the soil. A living substance decayed, washed out and turned into carbonic acid gas, but metals remained intact.
The researchers investigated mineralogical composition of protore and oxidized ores from the Dovatka and Mykert-Sanjeevsky deposits. It has turned out that native gold, silver and minerals, which include platinum, palladium, iridium, rhodium and ruthenium, are contained in the extinct bacteria capsules. The mineralogical composition of particles of bacterial origin turned out to be almost identical in the dust, soil and oxidized ores. Consequently, biomass of the trees, (reformed by bacteria), growing above the ore bodies’ oxidation zones is as if their natural continuation or their overground part.
There is peculiar division of labor among bacteria in the course of soil enrichment by precious metals. Sulfur-oxidizing bacteria leach minerals, i.e., transfer minerals from not readily soluble forms into labile forms, and iron bacteria glue them into new granules or nuggets. Trees assimilate the most readily soluble substances, which are later found in the cells of organolytic microbes feeding on dead timber. The latter also ensures normal vital functions of the first two groups.
Nadezda Markina | alfa
In times of climate change: What a lake’s colour can tell about its condition
21.09.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)
Did marine sponges trigger the ‘Cambrian explosion’ through ‘ecosystem engineering’?
21.09.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam - Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy