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Journal Article

Adaptation and evolution of biological materials


Dean,  Mason N.       
Mason Dean, Biomaterialien, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Max Planck Society;

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Campbell, R. A., & Dean, M. N. (2019). Adaptation and evolution of biological materials. Integrative and Comparative Biology, 59(6), 1629-1635. doi:10.1093/icb/icz134.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-48EE-F
Research into biological materials often centers on the impressive material properties produced in Nature. In the process, however, this research often neglects the ecologies of the materials, the organismal contexts relating to how a biological material is actually used. In biology, materials are vital to organismal interactions with their environment and their physiology, and also provide records of their phylogenetic relationships and the selective pressures that drive biological novelties. With the papers in this symposium, we provide a view on cutting-edge work in biological materials science. The collected research delivers new perspectives on fundamental materials concepts, offering surprising insights into biological innovations and challenging the boundaries of materials’ characterization techniques. The topics, systems, and disciplines covered offer a glimpse into the wide range of contemporary biological materials work. They also demonstrate the need for progressive “whole organism thinking” when characterizing biological materials, and the importance of framing biological materials research in relevant, biological contexts.