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Vital interplay between microorganisms and extracellular minerals

Some minerals abundant in soils and in aquatic and subsurface sediments electronically support microbial growth by supplying electrons or storing them as "environmental batteries," according to this new review article. Microbial cells derive chemical energy from metals associated with minerals outside the cell wall, but in many cases the microbial cell envelope is physically impermeable to minerals, or is not electrically conductive.
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