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Illinois IGB


Art of Science Gallery 03

Written in stone

AXIO Zoom V16

Image provided by Jim Bruce, Joe Weber, Sheila Egan, Yiran Dong, and Bruce Fouke, Bruce Fouke Lab

Research funded by the Mayo Illinois Alliance for Technology Based Healthcare

This cross-section of a human kidney stone uncovers the layers of crystal growth that were deposited during its formation. Human kidney stones have been assumed to be the product of the simple growth of crystals in naturally sterile kidneys. Images like this one suggest the opposite, that they are instead formed through complex events that include the activity of newly discovered microbes in the kidneys.