Living Minerals Lab

Minerals are the cornerstone of clean energy.

Producing technologies like batteries, solar panels, magnets, and more that are essential to fighting climate change

will require mining 3.5 billion tons of minerals by 2050.

99% of all minerals are mined and 99% of what's mined is waste.

Staying below 2°C of warming is not possible if both of these facts remain true.

We believe that the inspiration to change the mineral paradigm is inside and all around us.

We bring minerals to life.

‘Living minerals’ are the unifying theme of our research. We believe that life is the story of minerals storing and dissipating energy and information in new ways. Life, in our unique definition, is a continuum that ranges from flickers of emergent nanomineral self-organization to genetically choreographed biomineral formation to churning global resource supply chains. Discovering processes through which life emerges from, interacts with, and controls 'inanimate' matter will give us better agency over our future by revealing new paradigms for efficiently manipulating energy and information.

The role of the Living Minerals team is to see minerals in new ways, skillfully applying cutting-edge tools, such as cryo electron tomography (cryoET), computer vision, synchrotron X-ray photon correlation spectroscopy (XPCS), quantum chemical databases like the Materials Project, and natural language processing (NLP) to reveal the processes driving the evolution of mineral systems that interact with living organisms. We use empirical insights to reveal fundamental mechanisms underlying far-from-equilibrium processes in order to inform new strategies for clean, secure and sustainable mineral resource use. Our new perspective on minerals emphasizes the untapped potential to inspire humanity's symbiotic relationship with mineral resources to more closely resemble our personal relationships with our own corporeal (bio)minerals like our bones: as an indispensable support system that cannot survive without us.