Biomineralogy is an ancient discipline, based initially on techniques that were those of classical crystallography and histology, in light or in electron microscopy. Recently, the research landscape has been modified by new methodologies coming from molecular genetics and also from inorganic chemistry, driven by hopes to create a genuine ‘chimie douce’, close to physiological conditions, in which biomineralisations would provide useful models. Historically, belief preceded basic understanding. Today, mineralised tissues appear to be highly structured composites at nanoscales and their morphogenesis might be a model system for genetics.
History of science, biominerals, nature composites, mesoporous materials, liquid crystals