The headline is a bit deceptive (you have to start with some gold) but soybean transmutation got my attention. And it is a big deal.
MU researchers go nano, natural and green
Using only soybeans and water, scientists discover a clean process for making nanoparticles
In 2002, U.S. farmers harvested 2.7 billion bushels of soybeans. Last year in Missouri, farmers harvested 194 million bushels of soybeans worth about $1.2 billion. Now, a team of researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia is turning those soybeans into gold, with nothing more than a little water.
MU researchers Kattesh Katti, Raghuraman Kannan, and Kavita Katti led a team of scientists that have discovered how to make gold nanoparticles using gold salts, soybeans and water. No other chemicals are used in the process, which means this new process could have major environmental implications for the future.
“Dr. Katti’s discovery sets up the beginning of a new knowledge frontier that interfaces plant science, chemistry and nanotechnology,” said Herbert W. Roesky, a professor and world renowned chemist from the University of Goettingen in Germany.
“The application of soy for the production of gold nanoparticles is amazing,” said Puspendu Das, physical chemistry professor at the Indian Institute of Science Bangalore. “It shows for the first time that chemicals within soy are capable of producing gold nanoparticles. This clearly marks the beginning of a new field of 'Phytochemical-Nanoscience' and opens up a new pathway for discoveries in nanotechnology. This invention will have far-reaching implications in nanoscience and technology research globally since nanoparticles of gold are used in almost every sensor design and are implicated in life sciences for diagnostic and therapeutic applications.”