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When kinetics and thermodynamics should play together

The formation of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) in water has ramifications for everything from food and energy production to human health and the availability of drinkable water. But in the context of today's environment, simply ...

The pH of calcium ions controls ion channel opening

Ion channels are pores in the membrane of cells or cell organelles. They allow positively or negatively charged particles, so-called ions, to be transported across the membrane. Biochemists at Johannes Gutenberg University ...

Making systems robust

The human body keeps the calcium concentration in the blood constant, similarly to an aircraft's autopilot keeping the plane at a constant altitude. What they have in common is that both the body and the autopilot employ ...

Improving engine performance and fuel efficiency

A study conducted in part at the Canadian Light Source (CLS) at the University of Saskatchewan suggests reformulating lubricating oils for internal combustion engines could significantly improve not only the life of the oil ...

Single molecule puts sperm on track

Sperm start their sprint to the ovum when they detect changes in the environment through a series of calcium channels arranged like racing stripes on their tails. A team of Yale researchers has identified a key molecule that ...

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Calcium

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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