PerspectiveStructural Biology

Choosing the Crystallization Path Less Traveled

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  12 Aug 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5737, pp. 1027-1028
DOI: 10.1126/science.1114920

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Summary

Many organisms use a most unexpected strategy for forming large single crystals such as those that make up mineralized skeletal parts. Although nucleation and growth of a crystal occur from a solid disordered phase that has the characteristics of a melt phase, the process is accomplished at ambient temperatures and pressures. This strategy allows organisms to mold the crystals into unusual shapes and orient them at will.