Microbes have been around on this planet for close to four billion years, so in their own unconscious, unicellular way, they know a thing or two about how to handle its minerals, and even how to produce new ones.
Our flawed human efforts to access the planet's resources have produced a lot of collateral damage, pollution and waste. So we should consider learning from microbes about mining, producing materials and recycling them. Which is the topic of my latest feature, out today:
Mining the mineral microbiome
Current Biology Volume 28, Issue 23, 03 Dcember 2018, Pages R1325-R1328
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Copper occurs naturally in a variety of chemical modifications. In this piece of rock it occurs in the minerals azurite and malachite as well as in metallic form. (Image: Parent Géry via wikipedia.fr.)