periodic table

Science & Technology

Lead: A Chameleon-Type Metal Ion. Its Use and Effects on Environment and Health

Lead is one of the oldest metals known to man and therefore it deserves special emphasis in the international year of the Periodic Table of the Elements (2019). Its essentiality has been discussed but not demonstrated, yet its toxicity has already been recognized by Greek and Arab scholars.

Science & Technology

Zinc: the galvanizing chameleon

Jules Raulin, a student of Louis Pasteur, made a seminal discovery on zinc’s essential role in a microorganism’s growth. 150 years later, growing questions about this integral and essential element revolve around its purpose for our everyday lives.

Science & Technology

Fluorine: The most reactive and indispensable element in our daily lives

Fluorine (atomic symbol: F) is the 13th most common element in the earth crust and the lightest member of the halogen group, which is also called group 17 in the Periodic System of Elements. Under standard conditions, fluorine is a diatomic gas with a shade of yellow colour. It exhibits a distinct odour significantly different from that of the other halogens; chlorine (Cl), bromine (Br) and iodine (I).

Science & Technology

Chromium: Are we red-green blind regarding its biological chemistry?

The legendary traffic lights in Berlin, the “Ampelmännchen”, symbolise the opposite biological functions of chromium compounds in two major oxidation states: one for health and the other for disease. In other words, green stands for “go and safe”, red stands for “stop and danger”.

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