Worm's Jaws Show Mettle: Zinc links may inspire new materials

10:27am, July 30, 2003

Since biology excels at making strong and hard substances, such as bone, teeth, and seashells, scientists who design new materials often try to emulate nature's inventions. For Galen D. Stucky of the University of California, Santa Barbara and his colleagues, the microstructures of marine worms' jaws harbor clues for making synthetic materials. Unlike the bony jaws of mammals, these worms' chops are made primarily of protein.

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