Diatoms have unparalleled geometric beauty fashioned into siliceous, Petri dish-like houses (or frustules—see Figure 1) (Armitage, 1994; 2007; Armitage and Lumsden 1995). They are bewilderingly complex, unlike any other plant or animal cell on Earth in their ability to construct the three-dimensional glass structures in which they live. A recent study by University of Edinburgh researchers has yielded a “simple” materials-science model to construct diatom-like microstructures using a “quasi-two-dimensional, two-component incompressible fluid mixture with fixed overall composition” (Lenoci and Camp, 2007). The higher order math used to explain the formation of only two dimensions of the diatom frustule (each dish-like half of the diatom shellis known as a frustule) clearly illustrated the complexity of these so-called primitive life-forms. However, the method by which these single-cell plants assemble such an elaborate greenhouse begins just after cell division, when:…

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