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Magnetite has a long and distinguished career as one of the most important minerals in geophysics, as it is responsible for most of the remanent magnetization in marine sediments and the oceanic crust. It may come as a surprise to discover that it also ranks as the third or fourth most diverse mineral product formed biochemically by living organisms, and forms naturally in a variety of human tissues [Kirschvink et al., 1992].

Magnetite was discovered in teeth of the Polyplacophora mollusks over 30 years ago, in magnetotactic bacteria nearly 20 years ago, in honey bees and homing pigeons nearly 15 years ago, but only recently in human tissue.