News tagged with potassium

Hunting the ion channel

The electrical impulse that powers the workings of the brain and the heart begins with charged particles passing through cellular structures known as ion channels. Using the same technique used to decode ...

Mar 24, 2015
popularity 8 comments 0

Fatal uncoupling in the epileptic brain

Epilepsy is a very prevalent neurological disorder. Approximately one-third of patients are resistant to currently available therapies. A team of researchers under the guidance of the Institute of Cellular ...

Mar 18, 2015
popularity 17 comments 0

Researchers identify gene linked with early epilepsy

Certain types of early-onset epilepsy are caused by previously unknown mutations of a potassium channel gene, KCNA2. The mutations disrupt the electrical balance in the brain in two ways. In some patients, the flow of potassium ...

Mar 11, 2015
popularity 114 comments 0

Healthy diets are good for the kidneys

A healthy diet may help protect the kidneys, according to two studies that will be presented at ASN Kidney Week 2014 November 11¬-16 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA.

Nov 16, 2014
popularity 0 comments 2

Potassium

Potassium (pronounced /pɵˈtæsiəm/) is the chemical element with the symbol K (Latin: kalium, from Arabic: القَلْيَه‎ al-qalyah “plant ashes”, cf. Alkali from the same root), atomic number 19, and atomic mass 39.0983. Potassium was first isolated from potash. Elemental potassium is a soft silvery-white metallic alkali metal that oxidizes rapidly in air and is very reactive with water, generating sufficient heat to ignite the evolved hydrogen.

Potassium in nature occurs only as ionic salt. As such, it is found dissolved in seawater, and as part of many minerals. Potassium ion is necessary for the function of all living cells, and is thus present in all plant and animal tissues. It is found in especially high concentrations in plant cells, and in a mixed diet, it is most highly concentrated in fruits.

In many respects, potassium and sodium are chemically similar, although they have very different functions in organisms in general, and in animal cells in particular.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA