Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Are there elements that are never found in life?

  1. Mar 5, 2017 #1
    Are there elements that are never found in life forms?
    Or can some find themselves in life, but perhaps very unlikely?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 5, 2017 #2
    I guess there is always some possibility of any element being ingested in trace amounts as part of food.
    Even if it doesn't get involved in any significant biochemistry it might just find it's way into some cells,
    although it's presence there is neither harmful or beneficial.
  4. Mar 5, 2017 #3
    Thanks for your response rootone!
    I am having a hard time finding which elements never actively get involved with life. Is the line strict at all?
    I guess my question did lack the "active" context.
    I assume radioactive elements won't be found ever in cells. Just wondering how determined elements are whether they are and "active component" in some domain of life.
  5. Mar 5, 2017 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    2017 Award

    You can probably find all the naturally occurring elements present in some form of life, but many likely do not play any role (for example, it's hard to imagine the noble gasses playing any biological role as they are very inert and would not form any compounds in biological systems). Here's a nice diagram of summarizing the known biological roles of all the elements:
  6. Mar 5, 2017 #5
    Thank you! thank you! @Ygggdrasil!
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted