Idea for concrete: Sea urchin spine structure

The exact structure of sea urchins strong spines has been unraveled - and the find may contribute to stronger real in the future. But efforts to understand exactly how they are put together have yielded confusing results. To examine further, the team started with sea urchin samples gathered in Beijing, looking at them with more and more powerful imaging techniques.

This basic recipe builds up a range of structures that become apparent at different levels of enlargement, making it what is known as a mesocrystal. The results are reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. According to Dr Seto with the help of these different techniques we were able to understand from the nanometre scale all the way to the millimetre scale how everything is arranged.

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