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MEDICAL GEOBIOLOGY
ONE HEALTH

The concept of one-health recognizes the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment. The term medical geobiology covers the interactions between life and sedimentary systems and their implications for life and health of humans, organisms, ecosystems and our planet. 

I have made my way in this field studying a broad range of scientific disciplines and using a multi-scale experimental approaches.  Here I provide a visual context of how molecule-mineral interactions are important for a wide range of medical health aspects

Mineralization inside cells

implications for: 
Cell health and stability

 

Image by Sharon Pittaway

Minerals are essential for life, but how do single celled organism create intricate mineral structures beyond human capabilities? Our studies using a 60 Ma extracted polysaccharide show pH, cations and ionic strength are important tools. 

Influence of life on the rock record. 

implications for: 

Drug delivery and fouling

BIF 1.jpg

Origin of life had a large impact on the geologic world. Our studies provides a mechanistic understanding for the changed rock record and how biopolymers influence mineralsation.

Biomimicry

implications for
 
Intracellular mineralisation

Image by Ilona Ivanova

Organisms manage to create functional hard part at very low temperatures and using a very limited range of building blocks.  We have much to learn from their sustainable approaches

Origin of life

implications for: 

Assembly and drug delivery

Image by DIGITALE

Mineral surfaces hold the capability of up concentrating building blocks for life. We studied  free energy of binding and show the how mineralogy play a large role for polymer binding. 

Biofilm formation and  propagation of antibiotic resistance

implications for: 

Fouling and mitigation

Image by Joel Filipe

The interfacial geochemistry between different minerals and bacteria play a large role for which surfaces enhance biofilm formation and also how fast genes can propagate in the biofilm

Preserving life

implications for: 

interpretations of ecosystem health

Kap K cover.png

DNA and proteins can be preserved across time and space on mineral surfaces.  We show that the preferential interactions between the components of the molecules and different mineral surface influence preservation and their recovery. 

Evolution of life

implications for
 
Evolutionary pathways 

Image by Andreas Wagner

DNA preserved on mineral surfaces provide an unrecognized pathway for the evolution of life. We show that past genes can be reoccur  and get incorporated into bacteria.

Resistance of Cancer and antibiotics

implications for: 

Cancer treatment and ARg mitigation

Image by National Cancer Institute

Extracellular DNA poses an unrecognized pathway for evolution of antibiotic resistance genes and of cancer resistance.  We are addressing how stored DNA can reoccur in contemporary cells

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