Related topics: protein

How calcium ions get into the cellular power stations of plants

Calcium is a very special nutrient. In the cells of most living beings calcium ions function as so-called second messengers to transmit important signals. The same applies equally to animal, plant and fungal cells. Through ...

How fruit flies lay off the extra salty snacks

Fruit flies are known for their sweet tooth, but new research also indicates they may offer hints to how animals sense—and avoid—high concentrations of salt.

Expanded role for calcium channels in T-cells

A subunit of voltage-gated calcium channels was found to have a functional role in T-cells, according to a Northwestern Medicine study published in Nature Communications.

What makes plants electrically excitable

Plant cells use electrical signals to process and transmit information. In 1987, as a postdoc of Erwin Neher in Göttingen, biophysicist Rainer Hedrich discovered an ion channel in the central vacuole of the plant cell, which ...

Two teams couple remote ions using a wire conductor

Two teams of researchers working independently have succeeded in coupling remotely located ions using a wire conductor. Both teams showed that individual particles can sense one another through the mirrored charges they generate—in ...

Calcium pump motions captured in action

The pumping action of the calcium pump protein—an intricate molecular machine with several moving parts that helps control muscle contraction—has been detailed with exquisite precision by RIKEN biophysicists. By providing ...

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Calcium (pronounced /ˈkælsiəm/) is the chemical element with the symbol Ca and atomic number 20. It has an atomic mass of 40.078 amu. Calcium is a soft grey alkaline earth metal, and is the fifth most abundant element by mass in the Earth's crust. Calcium is also the fifth most abundant dissolved ion in seawater by both molarity and mass, after sodium, chloride, magnesium, and sulfate.

Calcium is essential for living organisms, particularly in cell physiology, where movement of the calcium ion Ca2+ into and out of the cytoplasm functions as a signal for many cellular processes. As a major material used in mineralization of bones and shells, calcium is the most abundant metal by mass in many animals.

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