‘Minerals and the living world’ considers various mineral–microbe interactions, biomineralization, and how minerals interact with the human body and human health. Biomineralization is the process where living organisms produce minerals such as calcite, apatite, and silica. An example is the unicellular, ocean-living radiolaria that have complex silica skeletons. After death their skeletal remains sink to the ocean floor and can be seen preserved in cherts and flints. Human biominerals can be divided into those which are an essential part of the bodies’ systems, such as hydroxylapatite found in bones and teeth, and those which are unexpected and pathological mineral deposits, such as calcium oxalate and asbestiform minerals.