Molecule farming

Ranching at the Molecule FarmA bird’s egg, biomineralization and growing new materials.

A bird’s eggshell is about a half-millimeter of layered calcium carbonate crystals, stabilized by a protein matrix.

The shell forms during just about 12 hours of travel time through the bird’s oviduct, an amazing natural feat.

It starts as a collagen membrane and goes through a series of different fluids with different species in them, and in the end, you have this hard mineral….

It might be possible to grow new bone, teeth or cartilage by using collagen and calcium phosphate, said NSLS physicist Elaine DiMasi, one of the authors of the biomineralization study that was published in the October 3, 2006 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.