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Some plants can short-circuit the toxic effects of metals – now scientists are trying to harness their power

By Marshall Keyster, Associate professor, University of the Western Cape
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At first glance, it’s hard to see what gold, iron, lead, arsenic, silver, platinum and tin have in common. A look at the periodic table will clear up the confusion: they are all heavy metals, typically categorised as those metals with an atomic weight and density at least five times greater than water.

These and other heavy metals occur naturally in the environment, and in some cases, in our bodies. They’re mostly considered harmless but at certain levels of exposure they can be toxic to human, plant and…The Conversation


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