Medicine

Gold Makes Great Jewelry, But It Can Also Fight Cancer

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Although it's already coveted for its aesthetics, gold could turn out to be far more valuable than you think. Many scientists are working with gold on a microscopic scale in the field of biomedicine. Because gold is an inert metal, it doesn't react to much, which makes it a good candidate for ferrying helpful drugs into the body. Scientists have targeted tumors with rod-shaped gold nanoparticles that are carrying antibodies, and which attach themselves to cancer cells. Hitting these nanoparticles with near-infrared light causes the tumor to overheat and disintegrate. Further research is needed before this becomes a widespread cancer treatment, but gold remains an element with universally acknowledged potential in the medical world.

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. Gold is an inert metal, which means it has little to no reactivity with other elements. 00:47

  2. When exposed to the right wavelength of light, the electrons within gold nanoparticles will oscillate at the same frequency. 01:41

  3. Gold could help to purify water by breaking down organic contaminants. 03:28

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