Biomineralization and Biological Metal Accumulation
Biominerals are generated by the subtle interaction of biological organization and mineral growth. They belong both to the living and the inanimate world and as such their genesis is among the most intri guing and fundamental subjects in science. However, the conceptual and technical resources that are available in physical chemistry and in the biological sciences is often inadequate for the elucidation of the pro blems involved, and hence this field is particularly difficult to ex plore. This may be an important reason why fundamental research on bio mineralization mechanisms has traditionally been carried out by a com paratively small group of scientists. There are signs, however, that the situation is ripe for a change. Various meetings on biomineralization have been organized in the last few years, particularly in the medical sector. It is generally felt that further developments in the therapy of bone and tooth diseases will be largely dependent on an improved understanding of the fundamen tal underlying mechanisms of biomineralization.