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  • Writer's pictureAllison Newsome

Bioneer Conference 2019

'Pearl', San Rafael Ca. Sponsored by Global Athena Advisors at the 2019 Bioneer Conference.  Collaboration with the lab of Anne Meyers Rochester, University, with their ground breaking man made nacre ' Mother of Pearl' a future organically grown protective covering for metals to replace toxic two part epoxy paints.

Artist Allison Newsome recently approached Anne S. Meyer, an associate professor of biology, about incorporating Meyer’s sustainable, artificial nacre materials into a new art piece. The completed piece, titled “Pearl,” is a massive rain-harvesting sculpture inspired by biomimicry that does not use any surface treatment, so is environmentally friendly.

Meyer says the artificial nacre produced in her lab—which mimics natural nacre, also known as mother-of-pearl—is a great match for the art installation. “The structure of our material was inspired by nature as well, and it is produced using a sustainable method,” Meyer says. “We hope that moving the production of materials towards processes that are less energy-intensive and toxic, such as our bacterially-mediated fabrication techniques, will reduce the use of nonrenewable resources and make materials production more accessible to all people and societies.”

Meyer invented an inexpensive and environmentally friendly method for making artificial nacre using the novel component bacteria. The artificial nacre produced in Meyer’s lab has the toughness of natural nacre, while also being stiff and, surprisingly, bendable and could lead to new applications in medicine, engineering, and construction.

Newsome’s sculpture was exhibited at a conference in October hosted by Bioneer, “an innovative nonprofit organization that highlights breakthrough solutions for restoring people and planet.”

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