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Brushite (CaHPO4·2H2O) is a precursor to apatite, a family of phosphate minerals that are in teeth. There is a lot of interest in apatite formation because it could help treat tooth decay, an irreversible process. Learn more about dental fillings, and how tooth decay is handled today, on p. 17.
KSENI YA SHUTURMINSKA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDEN; SHU TTERS TOCK
Science provides answers about issues that can improve our lives, and science can also be beautiful.
This is a scanning electron microscope (SEM) image of a brushite crystal that was grown on a protein.
The original black-and-white image has been colored by an artist for dramatic effect. SEMs are used to
create high-magnification images of objects with tiny dimensions—from 0.1 micrometer (1x10-7 meters)
to several millimeters. Scanning electron micrographs are well focused and provide detailed three-dimensional images. Artists often see beauty in the micrographs and reach for colors to enhance them.
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