Thursday, 23 May 2013 06:14
Reported by: Brent Hunsaker
KEY WEST, Florida (ABC 4 News) - Cross Marine Projects of American Fork likes to get its feet wet. The company has gained a global reputation for finding things in lakes and oceans - things that other people have lost.
Cross is perhaps on the verge of it's biggest find to date. It's a find that could change history and make some people very rich.
A Cross team was recently in Key West, Florida. They used the tourist Mecca to stage an exploration of sea floor about 10 miles South. Their objective: a Spanish ship that sank nearly four centuries ago.
They believe the ship might have been part of a fleet heading to Spain in 1622 with New World treasure. Off the Florida Keys the fleet ran headlong into a hurricane.
The most famous of that fleet, Nuestra Senora de Atocha and Santa Margarita, were discovered in the mid 1980's by treasure hunter Mel Fisher. The gold and silver he brought up was worth an estimated $450 million.
Monday, 20 May 2013 06:04
Conservation Arrowheads seized in the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation… (Fish and Wildlife)
By Eloísa Ruano González, Orlando Sentinel
ORLANDO, FLORIDA - Treasure hunters have long pilfered arrowheads, pottery and other archaeological artifacts on state lands, risking jail time if caught.
But a loophole in state law meant that looters didn't face consequences for their thievery on Lake County Water Authority lands. That protection may be about to end.
Legislators in their recently concluded session approved a bill that makes it a crime to pilfer historical finds on water-authority lands. Looters on lands of the two water authorities affected — Lake's and the Toho Water Authority in Osceola — could face up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine under the legislation, which will be sent to Gov. Rick Scott for his signature.
"It finally gives us the ability to prosecute people who come to public lands to archaeologically loot," said Mike Perry, Lake County Water Authority executive director. "It gives all our properties the same protection state lands enjoy."
Thursday, 16 May 2013 09:59
By David Self Newlin
SALT LAKE CITY — Gold may be beautiful, elegant, and extremely valuable, but the process for extracting it is nasty, poisonous, expensive and inefficient.
But science is full of serendipity, moments of accidental discovery like finding penicillin hiding in plain sight in a petri dish. Zhichang Liu, a post doctorate at Northwestern University, had just such a moment in the lab when he accidentally discovered a new method for extracting gold in a totally green way.
Liu was intending to build nanocubes to store gasses and large molecules. But what he ended up getting when he mixed cornstarch, gold and a potassium-bromide compound was needles.
"Initially, I was disappointed when my experiment didn't produce cubes, but when I saw the needles, I got excited," Liu said. "I wanted to learn more about the composition of these needles."
It turns out, the needles were composed of gold nanowires, leading to the possibility that the process could be repeated, scaled up and produce a method for extracting gold that is cheap, effective and non-toxic. And it is very specific for gold, excluding other chemically similar elements like platinum and palladium.
Currently, gold is extracted using extremely poisonous cyanide salts and gasses. It leaves behind difficult-to-clean waste that stays in the environment for quite some time.
However, Liu's new method uses alpha-cyclodextrin, a cyclic sugar with six glucose molecules. That, plus the potassium-bromine compound, are easy to clean. It can extract gold from raw sources or from gold scraps, meaning it could find a use in recycling consumer electronics.
"The elimination of cyanide from the gold industry is of the utmost importance environmentally," said Sir Fraser Stoddart, the Board of Trustees Professor of Chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. "We have replaced nasty reagents with a cheap, biologically friendly material derived from starch."
Courtesy: KSL TV
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