Three study cases of growth morphology in minerals: Halite, calcite and gypsum

Three study cases of growth morphology in minerals: Halite, calcite and gypsum

Aquilano, D.; Otálora, F.; Pastero, L.; García-Ruiz, J. M., Progress in Crystal Growth and Characterization of Materials 2016, 62 (2), 227-251. Download paper. Beyond fundamental aspects of crystal growth and morphology, the growth of minerals is a challenging subject because in most cases we face a problem with unknown growth conditions. Actually, in the field of geological studies, we have to decipher the growth conditions of a crystal using the information contained in the very…

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FELLOWSHIP OPPORTUNITY on MINERAL ORGANIC INTERACTIONS AND SELF-ASSEMBLY IN EXTREME CHEMICAL ENVIRONMENTS A Ph.D. position is offered at the Laboratorio de Estudios Cristalográficos (LEC) in Granada (Spain). We are looking for exceptionally motivated Ph.D. candidates with a keen interest in mineral genesis, mineral growth pattern, early Earth, life detection and origin of life. The thesis will be supervised by Prof.  Juan Manuel Garcia-Ruiz The selected candidate will work for 3 years in an international and…

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The role of CaCO3o neutral pair in calcium carbonate crystallization

The role of CaCO3o neutral pair in calcium carbonate crystallization

Genovese, D.; Montalti, M.; Otálora, F.; Gómez-Morales, J.; Sancho-Tomás, M.; Falini, G.; García-Ruiz, J. M., Crystal Growth & Design 2016. Download paper. The molecular structure of the units that get incorporated into the nuclei of the crystalline phase and sustain their growth is a fundamental issue in the pathway from a supersaturated solution to the formation of crystals. Using a fluorescent dye we have recorded the variation of the pH value in time along a…

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Diffusion and Precipitation Processes in Iron-Based Silica Gardens

Diffusion and Precipitation Processes in Iron-Based Silica Gardens

Glaab, F.; Rieder, J.; Garcia-Ruiz, J. M.; Kunz, W.; Kellermeier, M., Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 2016. Download paper. Silica gardens are tubular structures that form along the interface of multivalent metal salts and alkaline solutions of sodium silicate, driven by a complex interplay of osmotic and buoyant forces together with chemical reaction. They display peculiar plant-like morphologies and thus can be considered as one of the few examples for the spontaneous biomimetic self-ordering of purely…

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A Global Scale Scenario for Prebiotic Chemistry: Silica-Based Self-Assembled Mineral Structures and Formamide

A Global Scale Scenario for Prebiotic Chemistry: Silica-Based Self-Assembled Mineral Structures and Formamide

Saladino, R.; Botta, G.; Bizzarri, B. M.; Di Mauro, E.; Garcia Ruiz, J. M., Biochemistry 2016, 55 (19), 2806-2811. Download paper. The pathway from simple abiotically made organic compounds to the molecular bricks of life, as we know it, is unknown. The most efficient geological abiotic route to organic compounds results from the aqueous dissolution of olivine, a reaction known as serpentinization (Sleep, N.H., et al. (2004) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 101, 12818–12822). In…

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Growth Behavior of Monohydrocalcite (CaCO3·H2O) in Silica-Rich Alkaline Solution

Growth Behavior of Monohydrocalcite (CaCO3·H2O) in Silica-Rich Alkaline Solution

Zhang, G.; Delgado-López, J. M.; Choquesillo-Lazarte, D.; García-Ruiz, J. M., Crystal Growth & Design 2015, 15 (2), 564-572. Download paper. Monohydrocalcite (CaCO3·H2O) has been crystallized in silica-rich alkaline water solution. The crystallization proceeds by a counterdiffusion method without the presence of any other additive except dissolved silica. The crystallization has been followed in situ by optical microscopy and Raman microspectroscopy, while the time evolution of the pH and the concentration of calcium and silica species…

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Sobre los Experimentos de Creación de Vida de Andrew Crosse

Garcia-Ruiz, J. M., Macla 2015, 20, 61-62. Uno de los personajes más exitosos y conocidos de la historia de la literatura y el cine de ficción es el creado por la escritora Mary Shelley en 1817 en su libro “Frankenstein o el moderno Prometeo”. Paradójicamente, uno de los científicos menos conocidos y más misteriosos de la historia de la ciencia británica es Andrew Crosse, el individuo real en el que, según se suele afirmar, Mary…

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Teaching High School students at Limuru

Teaching High School students at Limuru

During the first trip to the Rift Valley of the Prometheus Project, I asked my Kenyan contact Patricia Gitari to seek for the possibility to organize an event to transfer high school teachers in Kenya my experience in popularization and teaching of crystallography. She did a great work, and she organized in Limuru, a town near Nairobi, an exceptional event. She was able to attract more than 150 students and teachers from different schools of…

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