Gold on Trees
Have you ever said “I wish money could grow on trees? ” Well that could actually be true! Geoscientist Melvyn Lintern was the author of “Gold Particles Found in Leaves of Eucalyptus Trees. ” This article was published in Science News magazine on October 23, 2013 and retrieved online at http://www. sci-news. com, on January 16, 2014. Melvyn Lintern from CSIRO (Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organization) Earth Science and Resource Engineering explored the gold particles in leaves of the eucalyptus trees in Australia.
The article was written to let people know that leaves or soil underneath these trees could show gold that was buried underground. The gold discovered was up to 60 million years old. Geoscientists used the Maia detector to explore the soil. The Maia detector is an imaging system, which uses an x-ray microprobe, (a device used to stimulate radiation by a material in order to determine chemical or elemental composition). The Maia detector is similar to an x-ray machine. It allows you to see through leaves and determine their chemical or mineral composition.
This is where the gold particles were found. The article also explained how the Eucalyptus tree acted like a hydraulic pump, (related to a liquid moving in a confined space under pressure), because its roots extend deep in the ground and draw up water containing the gold. Since gold can be toxic to the tree, it doesn’t stay in one spot; it moves to the leaves and branches where it can be released or shed to the ground. Article Analysis This is a new topic because before the Maia detector, the gold in the leaves was invisible and there was no way of detecting it, so this is a brand new discovery.
The author of the Sci-News. com article did a good job explaining the information in a way that everyone could read and understand. Dr. Lintern said that, “Leaves could be used in combination with other tools as a more cost effective and environmentally friendly exploration technique. ” He also pointed out that, “Eucalpytus trees are so common that this technique could be widely applied across Australia and could also be used to find other metals such as zinc and copper. ” Dr. Melvyn Lintern was the lead writer of this article and his quotes were chosen because they talk.
About four important things: 1. How leaves can be used with other tools for exploring with the Maia detector; 2. The Maia detector makes this type of exploration friendly to the environment; 3. It is cost effective, and 4. The same technique could also be used to find other metals. This information is important to the environment because now it has been proven that you can get samples without destroying the land by drilling many holes and it also makes exploration if minerals quicker and less expensive.
Unfortunately no one will grow rich looking for gold in leaves, since the gold found is about the size of a nano-nugget, which is a billionth in diameter and in this case, only 1/5 the diameter of a piece of human hair, (which is very, very tiny). This was a very interesting article to read. This discovery is so important to our economy and environment. It will help mining companies figure out where they can find more gold and other minerals just by examining plants and leaves. And most importantly, geoscientists have figured out a way to get these samples without unnecessary drilling which will help protect our environment.