HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Scientists uncover speedometer for crystal growth controlled by biomolecule properties

Blacksburg, Va., Dec. 4, 2006 -- From gemstones to transistors, crystals are everywhere in our daily lives. Crystals also make up the mineralized skeletons of all organisms, including seashells and our own teeth and bones. Perhaps the most widely used biominerals are found in the calcium carbonate family. Understanding how this mineral forms is of particular interest because of its widespread occurrence over geologic history and its close relation to the calcium phosphate found in the bones and teeth of all mammals.

One ongoing question is how organisms form these mineralized structures, or biominerals, at a controlled rate, sometimes very rapidly until attaining the prescribed size. For reasons not well understood, this process can also go astray, leading to underdevelopment or unwanted growth such as kidney stones. The speed of mineral formation in both normal and pathological development can sometimes be surprisingly fast. For example, phytoplankton, whose occurrence is so extensive that they are believed to have important controls on earth climate, form fully developed and exquisitely shaped skeletons within a few hours.

In the December 4-8, 2006, online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Virginia Tech Postdoctoral Scientist Selim Elhadj and Professor Patricia Dove report that the chemistry of organic molecules control the rate of crystal growth. In collaboration with James De Yoreo at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and John Hoyer of the Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia, they learned that nano-quantities of biomolecules frequently found in the tissues of organisms where biominerals develop can cause calcite crystals to grow faster. More importantly, they determined that the speed of growth can be tuned by varying the charge and water-structuring ability of the biomolecules. By finding a relationship between the control of electrical charge and hydrophilicity, respectively, the findings result
'"/>

Contact: Susan Trulove
STrulove@vt.edu
540-231-5646
Virginia Tech
4-Dec-2006


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Scientists show that mitochondrial DNA variants are linked to risk factors for type 2 diabetes
2. Scientists prove that disputed Korean stem cell line comes from an unfertilized egg and not cloning
3. Scientists move closer to bio-engineered bladders
4. Scientists find stem cell switch
5. Scientists discover new way to study nanostructures
6. Scientists a step closer to understanding how anaesthetics work in the brain
7. Scientists to make news at Computational Biology Conference
8. Accident-prone? Scientists link brain function to knee injuries
9. Scientists take next step in understanding potential target for ovarian cancer treatment
10. Scientists find brown fat master switch
11. Scientists identify 2 distinct Parkinsons networks

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/23/2017)... and ITHACA, N.Y. , June 23, ... University, a leader in dairy research, today announced a ... to help reduce the chances that the global milk ... of this dairy project, Cornell University has become the ... the Food Supply Chain, a food safety initiative that ...
(Date:6/14/2017)... PARIS , June 15, 2017  IBM (NYSE: IBM ... the international tech event dedicated to developing collaboration between startups ... on June 15-17. During the event, nine startups will ... deliver value in various industries. ... in the international market, with a 30 percent increase in ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... 23, 2017  Hunova, the first robotic gym for the rehabilitation and ... launched in Genoa, Italy . The first 30 robots ... the USA . The technology was developed and patented ... the IIT spin-off Movendo Technology thanks to a 10 million euro investment ... please click: ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/28/2017)... ... June 28, 2017 , ... Alevio, ... to announce the 500th case using the SiCure Sacroiliac Joint Fusion System. , ... screws. SiCure can be implanted in either a lateral or posterior approach, ...
(Date:6/28/2017)... ... June 28, 2017 , ... ... market with three research projects accepted for presentation at the 33rd Annual Meeting ... 10,000 participants – including some of the world’s top thought leaders in reproductive ...
(Date:6/28/2017)... ... June 28, 2017 , ... ... UK Ltd (Bock) announced a strategic partnership where Bock will demonstrate DuPont’s ... OPTIMASH® AD-100, has been shown to help biogas producers in the agricultural sector ...
(Date:6/28/2017)... ... June 28, 2017 , ... ... for multiphysics computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation and analysis includes two new ... version 12.04 introduces Design Manager, allowing users to easily explore multiple design ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: