A bug that makes Gold!
Is this what you are referring to?
From the link: The team at Michigan State University say that they found the bacteria Cupriavidus metallidurans is able to take so-called liquid gold (gold chloride, a toxic chemical found in nature) and turn it into 24-karat gold.
The process has been named microbial alchemy - and that's exactly what it appears to be.
"Microbial alchemy is what we're doing - transforming gold from something that has no value into a solid, precious metal that's valuable," said Kazem Kashefi, assistant professor of microbiology and molecular genetics.
So why the doom and gloom?
Unfortunately for the world gold markets, it's not possible to reproduce the experiment on a larger scale because it isn't cost effective. As such while the researchers might be able to take toxins and turn them into gold, they'll still come out behind overall.
So it's no panacea for rocketing gold prices...
But the artist-scientist team still claim the installation still impact, because of its ability to "push scientific inquiry" in new directions.
"But the researchersí success in creating gold raises questions about greed, economy and environmental impact, focusing on the ethics related to science and the engineering of nature."
It doesn't appear that the researchers were actually trying to "make" gold, but rather found a bacteria that does it. And, it doesn't make enough to be a cost effective source for gold.
> So no greed.
The bacteria cannot "produce" enough to make it a cost effective gold making project.
> So no effect on the economy.
Gold, especially in (apparently) such small quantities wouldn't be a hazard to the environment.
> So no environmental impact.
The article indicates that the scientists "found" the bacteria, as opposed to creating or genetically engineering it.
> So no ethics issue re "the engineering of nature".
And the researchers didn't create the gold, they found a bacteria that does it on a very small scale.
Why the doom and gloom?