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What Do You Do With $700,000 in Gold Dust?

The question was one of many asked by reporters after the theft and/or disappearance of the substance from a Pfizer lab in Chesterfield earlier this month drew national media attention.

Earlier this month, Chesterfield Police were called in to investigate a bit of a mystery at a Pfizer facility in Chesterfield. 

The drug maker may have been the victim of theft or some careless bookkeeping, it wasn't clear, but what was clear was that $700,000 worth of gold dust had somehow gone missing or was otherwise unaccounted for. 

According to the initial police investigation, the material was used rarely and kept in an unlocked cabinet, but when workers recently went to retrieve some, they found nothing there. The incident was reported on Dec. 6 and could have occurred sometime over the course of a year from November, 2011, to November, 2012. 

While the case remains ongoing, it raised one central question. What, exactly, do scientists need with gold dust?

The disappearance of the substance garnered national media and one reporter with The Wall Street Journal spent some time trying to answer that very question. 

Among the possibilities: tiny gold particles may be helpful as drug delivery systems since they help deliver drugs into the human body since they are used by anything inside. 

Read the full article for a more in-depth explanation as well as some more light-hearted postulations about gold dust's use in scientific experiments. 

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