Skeletal Biomineralization

Patterns, Processes and Evolutionary Trends (Short Courses in Geology)




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Published by the American Geophysical Union as part of the Short Courses in Geology Series, Volume 5.

Our understanding of the mechanisms by which organisms form minerals has progressed in the past two decades but is still at a rudimentary stage. Any general theory of biomineralization must explain the formation of solid phases from biological fluids in tenns of physical parameters such as supersaturation, ionic strength, pH, surface energies and the character and quantity of active sites. Knowledge of the functions of the organic matrix in mediating mineral deposition is of basic importance to any understanding of biomineralization.