EurekAlert tells me these dudes in Australia are breeding their fortunes after finding a germ that, in effect, lays golden eggs:
“A number of years ago we discovered that the metal-resistant bacterium Cupriavidus metallidurans occurred on gold grains from two sites in Australia. The sites are 3500 km apart, in southern New South Wales and northern Queensland, so when we found the same organism on grains from both sites we thought we were onto something….”, explains Frank Reith, …[of] the University of Adelaide (Australia).
…This leads to active biochemically-mediated reduction of gold complexes to nano-particulate, metallic gold, which may contribute to the growth of gold nuggets.
And if creating gold nuggets in the lab isn’t enough for these guys, they’re also planning on making a mint by inventing a bacterial gold sensor, taking some of the guesswork out of the art of prospecting.