New factor in the carbon cycle of the Southern Ocean identified

Plankton are small organisms that drift with the currents in the seas and oceans. Despite their small size, they play an important planetary role due to their immense quantity. Photosynthesizing plankton, known as phytoplankton, ...

Stellar explosion in Earth's proximity

When the brightness of the star Betelgeuse dropped dramatically a few months ago, some observers suspected an impending supernova—a stellar explosion that could also cause damage on Earth. While Betelgeuse has returned ...

Bacteria with a metal diet discovered in dirty glassware

Caltech microbiologists have discovered bacteria that feed on manganese and use the metal as their source of calories. Such microbes were predicted to exist over a century ago, but none had been found or described until now.

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Manganese

Manganese ( /ˈmæŋɡəniːz/ mang-gə-neez) is a chemical element, designated by the symbol Mn. It has the atomic number 25. It is found as a free element in nature (often in combination with iron), and in many minerals. As a free element, manganese is a metal with important industrial metal alloy uses, particularly in stainless steels.

Manganese phosphating is used as a treatment for rust and corrosion prevention on steel. Depending on their oxidation state, manganese ions have various colors and are used industrially as pigments. The permanganates of alkali and alkaline earth metals are powerful oxidizers. Manganese dioxide is used as the cathode (electron acceptor) material in standard and alkaline disposable dry cells and batteries.

Manganese(II) ions function as cofactors for a number of enzymes in higher organisms, where they are essential in detoxification of superoxide free radicals. The element is a required trace mineral for all known living organisms. In larger amounts, and apparently with far greater activity by inhalation, manganese can cause a poisoning syndrome in mammals, with neurological damage which is sometimes irreversible.

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