A mineral is a naturally occurring, inorganic solid that has a specific chemical composition and a regular atomic structure. Minerals are the building blocks of rocks and can be found in all three states of matter: solid, liquid, and gas. There are more than 5,000 known minerals, and new ones are being discovered all the time.
“Life begets rock, rocks beget life.” Quotes from a Carnegie geologist who makes the case that minerals have evolved over time and may have helped spark life. A team of experts in the field presents this idea in a new NOVA feature, Life’s Rocky Start. Minerals originate in the earth and cannot be made by living organisms.
Rocks are created when one or more minerals combine. The type of rock that is formed depends on the minerals that make it up. There are three main types of rocks: igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic.
The rock cycle is the process by which rocks are formed, changed, and destroyed. It takes millions of years for a rock to go through the entire rock cycle. The three main steps in the rock cycle are:
1) Formation: Minerals combine to form a rock.
2) Change: The rocks are changed by the forces of nature, such as weathering and erosion.
3) Destruction: The rocks are destroyed by natural processes, such as weathering and erosion.
Minerals originate in the earth and cannot be made by living organisms. Plants get minerals from the soil. Most of the minerals in a human diet come from eating plants and animals, or from drinking water. As a group, minerals are one of the four groups of essential nutrients, the others of which are vitamins, essential fatty acids, and essential amino acids.
There are several dozen major minerals that make up the rocks in the earth's crust. These minerals have been classified into four groups: silicates, carbonates, sulfates, and halides. Silicate minerals are the most common and make up more than 90% of the rocks in the crust. Carbonate minerals are the second most common, and sulfate and halide minerals are the least common.
The five major minerals in the human body are calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and magnesium. All the remaining elements in a human body are called “trace elements”. The trace elements that have a specific biochemical function in the human body are sulfur, iron, chlorine, cobalt, copper, zinc, manganese, molybdenum, iodine, and selenium.
When something is not working, it is always good to go back to the beginning. Recent studies have shown a tight linkage between living organisms and chemical elements on this planet. This led to the redefinition of minerals as an element or compound, amorphous or crystalline, formed through "biogeochemical" processes. The addition of ‘bio’ reflects a greater appreciation, although an incomplete understanding, of the processes of mineral formation by living forms.
Minerals are essential for the body to function properly. They have a variety of functions, including:
1) Building bones and teeth
2) Regulating fluid balance
3) Helping muscles contract
4) Acting as an electrolyte
5) Aiding in the transmission of nerve impulses
6) Helping with blood clotting
7) Promoting healthy skin
8) Supporting the immune system
9) Helping with enzyme activity
10) Participating in photosynthesis
Studies of the biogeochemistry of essential nutrients, including minerals, are providing new insights into how these nutrients are acquired and utilized by living organisms. The biogeochemistry of essential nutrients is a complex and ongoing process that is not yet fully understood. The study of the biogeochemistry of minerals is an important area of research that is likely to provide new insights into the role of minerals in living organisms.
In conclusion, minerals are essential for life. They are the building blocks of rocks and can be found in all three states of matter: solid, liquid, and gas. Minerals originate in the earth and cannot be made by living organisms. Humans get minerals from the soil, plants, animals, or water. Minerals are one of the four groups of essential nutrients.