Plants have evolved several ways to deal with heavy metals that might otherwise poison or kill them.
While iron and calcium are the metals that get the most attention, zinc is also important for human health and function.
Custom fabrication involves taking measurements, choosing tools, deciding on sequences of steps and ordering from a menu of materials. AIs under development promise to take humans out of the loop.
Iron fights anemia. Bismuth relieves gastric problems. Lithium acts against depression and gold can treat rheumatoid arthritis. Metals are precious tools for good health.
Companies are eager to mine the deep ocean for valuable mineral deposits. But scientists are concerned about impacts on sea life, including creatures that haven’t even been discovered yet.
Small-scale gold mining operations in developing countries are major sources of toxic mercury pollution, using techniques that haven’t changed much since the California Gold Rush 150 years ago.
Manufacturing minerals is an expanding field of study. Making more of them could help alleviate various pressures faced by our growing population. But how are they made, and where can they be used?
The Trump administration is supporting new mines in Alaska and Minnesota that many opponents say could devastate sensitive areas around them.
Spiders use different types of silk for different purposes – and not all of them are as strong as steel.
Gold is one of 12 confirmed elements on the periodic table whose discoverer is unknown.
Electric cars and smartphones have created growing demand – and volatile prices – for once obscure metals.
China, which recycles much of the world’s waste material, is slashing its scrap imports. This move could force the United States and Europe to boost recycling instead of shipping trash overseas.
Siberia’s red river reminds us that mining for minerals and metals can still compromise the environment.
Identifying mine waste materials as economic resources will help support global demand for critical metals, boosting the mining industry during the downturn. All with environmental benefits.
From making renewable energy practical to revolutionising farming, the chemicals industry could make a huge contribution to the environment.
It should be no surprise that a once great industry has lost its edge – the shine dullened a while ago.
Mining waste rock from historic mines or even treated sewage to find useful metals and minerals could be a sustainable way to meet demand for these finite resources.
We may have to rewrite physics textbooks after a material that can act both like a conductor and an insulator simultaneously has been discovered.
These laboratory-made metals have unusual properties that consumer electronics manufacturers love. New research used high-energy X-rays to figure out why.
Metals are generally abundant throughout the Earth’s crust, but not always at the right cost in the right place at the right time.