According to local lore, gold was once taken from a Stowe stream. Today, Stowe skier and rider Javin Pierce is hoping to strike it rich with silver. He uses a microlayer of silver bonded to fabric to produce Silveron, which he applies to socks and glove liners, and even the bandages in a skin-repair kit.
If you get the biomedical engineer going on Silveron, be prepared for a ride through history, from Pliny the Elder to the present, with asides on Dracula (think silver bullet) and the development of antibiotics.
Basically, silver releases ions that kill microbes like bacteria and fungi. The result: socks and gloves that don't stink. (Pierce has also applied Silveron to a self-disinfecting kitchen sponge.) Beyond that, because silver is the most thermally conductive element, it shuttles heat to where it's needed -- like cold toes and fingers. Down the road, Pierce hopes to apply the technology to everything from tampons to sport shirts to cold lozenges. Info: www.silveron.com.