"The biofactories are a combination of bacteria that actually harvest the metals from the plants and create the nanoparticulate shells, along with a suitable biorefinery that provides the correct conditions for this to happen," said Kiwan.
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The biorefineries will also provide the conditions necessary for extracting other high value compounds directly from the plants. The bacteria will be contained in a fully enclosed system to prevent their accidental release into the environment. The faunal factories, however, may help to restore native plant communities.
"We have access to a global dataset of plant/crop genetics and capabilities that will allow us to identify suitable native species," said Kiwan, "One key aspect is to ensure that no impacts on localized biodiversity occur."
Alyssum montanum (KENPEI, Wikimedia Commons)