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Despite What CNBC Says, Gold Has Many Purposes

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Researchers have discovered a process using gold that appears to increase the effectiveness of a lung cancer treatment.

CNBC reported on the promising development in a story headlined, “Could gold finally have a purpose?” This silly headline plays into a common fallacy: this notion that gold doesn’t actually do anything. Warren Buffet encapsulated this attitude in a speech decades ago.

[Gold] gets dug out of the ground in Africa, or someplace. Then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again, and pay people to stand around guarding it. It has no utility.”

Of course, gold has many purposes, starting with the fact that gold is money. And it’s increasingly being used in technological applications from biomedical processes to energy production.

In the latest development, Dr. Asier Unciti-Broceta, from Cancer Research UK’s Edinburgh center, said his research has shown gold nanoparticles increase the effectiveness of certain lung cancer drugs by accelerating chemical reactions. Researches say the method could reduce side effects by specifically targeting cancerous cells without damaging surrounding healthy tissue.

We have discovered new properties of gold that were previously unknown and our findings suggest that the metal could be used to release drugs inside tumors very safely … There is still work to do before we can use this on patients, but this study is a step forward. We hope that a similar device in humans could one day be implanted by surgeons to activate chemotherapy directly in tumors and reduce harmful effects to healthy organ.”

This is just one of a number of recent technological advances using gold.

Recently, the World Health Organization prequalified the first HIV self-test in a move to increase HIV diagnosis and treatment. The process uses gold nanoparticles and can render test results in as little as 20 minutes.

Gold can also keep you from stinking.

Rhone has developed a line of clothing using a combination of gold and silver fibers to help reduce odor.

The company’s GoldFusion blends both into its garments. The gold particles bond the silver, its primary anti-bacterial, anti-odor mechanic. By applying gold particles to one side of the fabric and the silver in the other, Rhone says the two create an adhesion within the fabric and the treatment also reduces the surface tension energy that allows for a drying time on the fabric up to three times faster than the average workout gear.”

In another development, scientists have begun to develop processes that facilitate the self-assembly of gold nanoparticles.

Using self-assembly, scientists could create custom materials that are both versatile like biological systems and tough like industrial ones. These materials could be used in better water purifiers, more efficient solar cells, faster catalysts that improve manufacturing, and next-generation electronics. Using self-assembly in manufacturing could also lead to cheaper and more efficient processes.”

So, despite silly CNBC headlines and the bloviation of Warren Buffet, gold has many practical applications.

Of course, along with its new and growing role in technology, gold has also historically helped people preserve and build wealth. It is a fundamental component in jewelry and investment. People buy gold because they recognize that it serves as a long-term store of value. Call 1-888-GOLD-160 to speak with a SchiffGold Precious Metals Specialist to learn more.

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