Friday Earth Sciences Talk by Dr Helen King
Every time you move or eat you depend on minerals. Other creatures use minerals for protection or as a waste disposal site, even for navigation. Courtesy of its long, evolutionary history, biology has become the master manipulator of chemical systems to ensure that minerals form when, where and in the shape that serves them best. Often these minerals and their architecture is completely different from what we expect based on the chemical environment. Furthermore, many biologically-made structures could become industrially important. Thus, if we can replicate the biological controls of mineralization, we can create new, novel materials.
During this talk I will show how biology conforms to the fundamental laws governing natural processes, but, manipulates the system to play by its own rules. This includes looking at biology getting it wrong, to understand what happens when it gets it right.