As for "gold having no use," that sentiment clashes with the use of gold nanoparticles in cancer treatment. The latest development from this growing field comes from a team at the University of Syracuse, who've managed to bind gold nanoparticles to DNA strings. That complex is then hitched to the anti-cancer drug Doxorubin.
"Since the system carries a large number of drug molecules and it can potentially release them within or in the vicinity of cancer cells, it can produce considerable lethality in a specific region," Syracuse researcher James Dabrowiak told In-PharmaTechnologist. Dabrowiak said the gold nanoparticles would "bring a high payload of toxic drug into the cell," increasing the chances that the tumor cell would die.Dabrowiak also said that the same team is looking into other ways gold nanoparticles can deliver other anti-cancer drugs. The well-known side effects of those drugs come from their lack of specificity - when administered in the regular way, they can go anywhere in the body and wreak damage on healthy cells too - so a reliable delivery systen would cut down those deleterious effects.
That's where the "nano" part comes into play. Millions of nanoparticles can direct the drug specifically into cancer cells and "not rely on the cell to simply absorb the drug from blood passing in the vicinity of the cell," Dabrowiak told In-PharmaTechnologist....
Gold and the future...they mesh well together.