Gold Dust Missing from Pfizer Lab

$700,000 worth of gold dust has been reported missing from a Pfizer medical research lab in Missouri.

Jef Akst
Jef Akst

Jef (an unusual nickname for Jennifer) got her master’s degree from Indiana University in April 2009 studying the mating behavior of seahorses. After four years of diving off the Gulf...

View full profile.


Learn about our editorial policies.

Dec 10, 2012

Flickr, Smitha MurthyIn the town of Chesterfield, Missouri, just outside of St. Louis, $700,000 worth of gold dust has gone missing from a drug discovery lab. After a routine inventory at a Pfizer medical research lab, which investigates biologics and other novel drugs, failed to locate the gold, the local police launched an investigation to determine whether or not it has been stolen.

“We’re not even sure if they just didn’t account for it and it was used naturally, or if it was stolen or misplaced,” Chesterfield Police Captain Steven Lewis told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Experts estimate that the missing gold could weigh between 30 and 70 pounds, depending on purity. Though Pfizer declined to comment on how it uses the gold, such particles can be used in drug delivery and nanotechnology applications.

“We are taking this matter very seriously and working closely with local law enforcement...

Local gold dealers say it is unlikely that the gold dust will easily be sold, as jewelers tend to only buy from known dealers, and usually in very small quantities, Mike Matula, general manager of Missouri Gold Buyers in St. Louis, told the Dispatch. “If someone showed up with a bucket full of this stuff, no one would buy it over the counter, not from our store at least,” he said. “I imagine it would be pretty difficult to show up with 50 pounds of it without being noticed.”

(Hat tip to the Associated Press)

Interested in reading more?

Gold Dust Missing from Pfizer Lab

The Scientist ARCHIVED CONTENT

ACCESS MORE THAN 30,000 ARTICLES ACROSS MANY TOPICS AND DISCIPLINES

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archived stories, digital editions of The Scientist Magazine, and much more!
Already a member?