Biological Role and Precautions
Magnesium and calcium are ubiquitous and essential to all known living organisms. They are involved in more than one role, with, for example, magnesium or calcium ion pumps playing a role in some cellular processes, magnesium functioning as the active center in some enzymes, and calcium salts taking a structural role, most notably in bones.
Strontium plays an important role in marine aquatic life, especially hard corals, which use strontium to build their exoskeletons. It and barium have some uses in medicine, for example "barium meals" in radiographic imaging, whilst strontium compounds are employed in some toothpastes.
Beryllium and radium, however, are toxic. Beryllium's low aqueous solubility means it is rarely available to biological systems; it has no known role in living organisms, and when encountered by them, is usually highly toxic. Radium has a low availability and is highly radioactive, making it toxic to life.
Read more about this topic: Alkaline Earth
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Famous quotes containing the words precautions, biological and/or role:
“A multitude of little superfluous precautions engender here a population of deputies and sub-officials, each of whom acquits himself with an air of importance and a rigorous precision, which seemed to say, though everything is done with much silence, Make way, I am one of the members of the grand machine of state.”
—Marquis De Custine (17901857)
“No poetic phantasy
but a biological reality,
a fact: I am an entity
like bird, insect, plant
or sea-plant cell;
I live; I am alive.”
—Hilda Doolittle (18861961)
“This [new] period of parenting is an intense one. Never will we know such responsibility, such productive and hard work, such potential for isolation in the caretaking role and such intimacy and close involvement in the growth and development of another human being.”
—Joan Sheingold Ditzion and Dennie Palmer (20th century)