Focusing on the basic principles of mineral formation by organisms, this comprehensive volume explores questions that relate to a wide variety of fields, from biology and biochemistry, to paleontology, geology, and medical research. Preserved fossils are used to date geological deposits andarchaeological artifacts. Materials scientists investigate mineralized tissues to determine the design principles used by organisms to form strong materials. Many medical problems are also associated with normal and pathological mineralization. Lowenstam, the pioneer researcher inbiomineralization, and Weiner discuss the basic principles of mineral formation by organisms and compare various mineralization processes. Reference tables listing all known cases in which organisms form minerals are included.