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Researchers at Goa University have made a ground-breaking discovery. They have discovered a unique way to extract gold nanoparticles from Termitomyces, a native mushroom known as “roenolmi” in the area. This innovative finding not only exemplifies the sense between science and culture, but it also sets India up for success in the global nanoparticle market. Here is all you need to know about this journey.

The mushroom that holds gold
Recent research conducted by Goa University has shed light on the extraordinary potential of Termitomyces mushrooms, a delicacy deeply found in the local culture. Dr. Sujata Dabolkar and Dr. Nandkumar Kamat, through their study titled “Biosynthesis and characterisation of AuNPs produced using Termitomyces heimii Pellets,” have revealed the process of synthesising gold nanoparticles from these indigenous mushrooms.

What is the science behind innovation?

The method employed for nanoparticle extraction involves cultivating the Termitomyces mushrooms in a mostly controlled environment, transforming them into pure three-dimensional pellets. This specialised cultivation process serves as the foundation for synthesizing gold nanoparticles, marking a leap in eco-friendly nanoparticle production. Dr. Kamat believes in the pioneering aspect of this approach, hailing it as a game-changer in sustainable nanotechnology.
The implications of this discovery go beyond science and include the environmental and economic domains. Dr. Dabolkar emphasises the potential for significant financial gains while highlighting the skyrocketing demand for gold nanoparticles in international markets. Furthermore, Goa is well-positioned to benefit economically and ecologically from the Nagoya Protocol by utilising the region’s abundant biodiversity, with profits being distributed fairly among the local populace.

The fusion of contemporary scientific innovation and traditional wisdom has opened a new chapter in India’s pursuit of technological leadership. By synthesising gold nanoparticles from local mushrooms, Goa has demonstrated its biotechnological competence and demonstrated how progress and nature can coexist peacefully. Goa’s golden mushroom, which illuminates the way to a greener, more prosperous future, stands as a beacon of hope as the world looks towards sustainable solutions.

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