Issue Date: March 31, 2014
The Secret Strength Of Mollusk Shell
The windowpane oyster, known to scientists as the bivalve Placuna placenta, gets its name from its remarkable shell, which is transparent enough to read through. The shell is 99% calcite, the most stable polymorph of CaCO3. One might think that this high mineral content would make P. placenta’s shell brittle, but the shell is about 10 times more likely to resist penetration than single-crystal calcite from a geological source. MIT researchers Christine . . .
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