Despite what you may have assumed, alchemy is not dead. While there's pretty much no doubt that it will never work, people are still trying it. Recently, Paul Moran from Northern Ireland attempted to put a twist on the old lead-into-gold trick by turning feces into gold. No word on whether this modification to the recipe was out of necessity or a indomitable sense of adventure. Either way, the process involved leaving feces, along with fertilizer, on top of a heater. While this process did not manage to transmute the feces into gold, it did manage to transmute his entire apartment into a blazing inferno.
Associate professors at the University of Calgary Schulich School of Engineering, Ian Gates and Michael Kallos, won a $100,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Grand Challenges Explorations initiative to help them produce electricity, fertilizer, heat, methane gas and purified water from human feces.