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UMaine Mineralogist Wins 'Rock Star' Honors
12/27/2012   Reported By: Jennifer Mitchell

The world's newest known minerals will bear the name of a geology professor from the University of Maine. As Jennifer Mitchell reports, Russian scientists have just discovered two minerals new to science, and geologist Edward Grew is now part of the Earth's mineral record, which is just about the highest honor a geologist can receive.

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UMaine Mineralogist Wins 'Rock Star' Honors
Originally Aired: 12/27/2012 5:30 PM
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Edward Grew is rock star. Of sorts. At least he has a rock named after him. "Well it's really a mineral species and it's a very great honor, and something I had literally dreamed about for many years," he says.

The difference between a rock and a mineral species might be lost on many, but as Grew explains it, a rock is an amalgam of several different minerals. And he should know. Grew has been studying minerals for over 60 years; and his love for rocks and minerals has taken him all over the world:  to Antarctica, India, Japan, and Russia.

He's well known in mineralogy circles, and has himself been instrumental in the discovery of 12 new minerals over the course of his decades-long career. So when mineralogists Evgeny and Irina Galuskin discovered a pair of brand new minerals in the Caucusus mountains - never before seen - the soft-spoken Grew was an obvious choice.

"The minerals that I've been honored with are calcium silicates. They're actually related to compounds that are used in cement," he says.

That means that the new crystalline minerals aren't just pretty structures - they're also potentially useful in industrial applications, says Grew.

The two new minerals will be called edgrewite and hydroxledgrewite. They'll join the relatively short list of 4,800 distinct mineral species that exist on Earth.

 

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