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MU researchers go nano, natural and green
Date:10/31/2007

COLUMBIA, Mo. 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.

Typically, a producer must use a variety of synthetic or man-made chemicals to produce gold nanoparticles, said Katti, professor of radiology and physics in MUs School of Medicine, senior research scientist at MURR, and College of Arts and Science, and director of the University of Missouri Cancer Nanotechnology Platform. In addition, to make the chemicals necessary for production, you need to have other artificial chemicals produced, creating an even larger, negative environmental impact. Our new process only takes what nature has made available to us and uses that to produce a technology that has already proven to have far-reaching impacts in technology and medicine.

Gold nanoparticles are tiny pieces of gold, so small that they cannot be seen by the naked eye. Researchers believe that gold nanoparticles will be used in cancer detection and treatment and in the production of smart electronic devices in the computer and telecommunications industry. While the nanotechnology industry is expected to produce large quantities of nanoparticles in the near future, researchers have been worried about the environmental impact of the global nanotechnological revolution.

Since a variety of synthetic chemicals are needed to complete the formation of the gold nanoparticles, the MU research team turned to Mother N
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Contact: Christian Basi
BasiC@missouri.edu
573-882-4430
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

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