Extant micro-organisms and their products interact with heavy metals in a variety of ways. Consideration of these activities provides a background against which possible influences of microbes on the mobilization, accumulation and deposition of heavy metals in modern and ancient environments may be examined. Several different interactions between micro-organisms and their products and heavy metals are described. Experiments on the uptake and metabolism of gold, uranium, iron and other heavy metals are reported. Several examples from recent studies and younger fossil deposits are reported and discussed concerning their applicability to Precambrian conditions.

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