Injectable microspheres to repair failing hearts

Biodegradable microspheres can be used to deliver heart cells generated from stem cells to repair damaged hearts after a heart attack, according to new findings by UCL researchers. This type of cell therapy could one day ...

Microscope reveals the secrets of a material's structure

EPFL scientists have made an important discovery about the structure of barium titanate, a material used in everyday objects. Their findings refute existing theories on the displacement of the material's atoms.

Physicists create device for imitating biological memory

Researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology have created a device that acts like a synapse in the living brain, storing information and gradually forgetting it when not accessed for a long time. Known ...

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Barium

Barium ( /ˈbɛəriəm/ bair-ee-əm) is a chemical element with the symbol Ba and atomic number 56. It is the fifth element in Group 2, a soft silvery metallic alkaline earth metal. Barium is never found in nature in its pure form due to its reactivity with air. Its oxide is historically known as baryta but it reacts with water and carbon dioxide and is not found as a mineral. The most common naturally occurring minerals are the very insoluble barium sulfate, BaSO4 (barite), and barium carbonate, BaCO3 (witherite). Barium's name originates from Greek barys (βαρύς), meaning "heavy", describing the high density of some common barium-containing ores.

Barium has few industrial applications, but the metal has been historically used to scavenge air in vacuum tubes. Barium compounds impart a green color to flames and have been used in fireworks. Barium sulfate is used for its density, insolubility, and X-ray opacity. It is used as an insoluble heavy mud-like paste when drilling oil wells, and in purer form, as an X-ray radiocontrast agent for imaging the human gastrointestinal tract. Soluble barium compounds are poisonous due to release of the soluble barium ion, and have been used as rodenticides. New uses for barium continue to be sought. It is a component of some "high temperature" YBCO superconductors, and electroceramics.

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