Neuroscience

Rare form of autism exhales secrets of breathing

Breathing difficulties mark a rare form of autism. Now, UConn researchers have traced the symptom to a specific set of brain cells—and possibly found a way to help sufferers.

Health

FDA spells out lower sodium goals for food industry

Food companies are coming under renewed pressure to use less salt after U.S. regulators spelled out long-awaited guidelines aimed at reducing sodium levels in dozens of foods including condiments, cereals, french fries and ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

New research contributes to understanding of cystic fibrosis

Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) are hopeful new understanding of cellular defects related to cystic fibrosis (CF) could help pave the way for treatment of the disease.

Health

Reducing salt in bread without sacrificing taste

Most people in the U.S. consume too much salt; adult Americans typically eat twice the daily amount recommended by dietary guidelines. Bread may not seem like an obvious culprit; however, due to high consumption and relatively ...

Biomedical technology

Mimicking nature to provide long-lasting local anesthesia

Site 1 sodium channel blockers such as tetrodotoxin and saxitoxin are small-molecule drugs with powerful local anesthetic properties. They provide pain relief without toxic effects on local nerves and muscles, and are an ...

page 1 from 40

Sodium

Sodium (pronounced /ˈsoʊdiəm/) is a metallic element with a symbol Na (from Latin natrium or Arabic natrun) and atomic number 11. It is a soft, silvery-white, highly reactive metal and is a member of the alkali metals within "group 1" (formerly known as ‘group IA’). It has only one stable isotope, 23Na.

Elemental sodium was first isolated by Sir Humphry Davy in 1806 by passing an electric current through molten sodium hydroxide. Elemental sodium does not occur naturally on Earth, but quickly oxidizes in air and is violently reactive with water, so it must be stored in an inert medium, such as a liquid hydrocarbon. The free metal is used for some chemical synthesis and heat transfer applications.

Sodium ion is soluble in water in nearly all of its compounds, and is thus present in great quantities in the Earth's oceans and other stagnant bodies of water. In these bodies it is mostly counterbalanced by the chloride ion, causing evaporated ocean water solids to consist mostly of sodium chloride, or common table salt. Sodium ion is also a component of many minerals.

Sodium is an essential element for all animal life and for some plant species. In animals, sodium ions are used in opposition to potassium ions, to allow the organism to build up an electrostatic charge on cell membranes, and thus allow transmission of nerve impulses when the charge is allowed to dissipate by a moving wave of voltage change. Sodium is thus classified as a “dietary inorganic macro-mineral” for animals. Sodium's relative rarity on land is due to its solubility in water, thus causing it to be leached into bodies of long-standing water by rainfall. Such is its relatively large requirement in animals, in contrast to its relative scarcity in many inland soils, that herbivorous land animals have developed a special taste receptor for sodium ion.

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