Nickel is an essential element in the human body, but too much is toxic. Here’s another element our planet had to provide.
Phosphorus, oxygen, and microbes cooperate in a delicate balance that sustains our productive biosphere. How did they come to interact?
It’s no help having essential elements in the Earth’s crust if they can’t get to the organisms that need them.
The element phosphorus, on which life heavily depends for its codes and metabolic processes, is a limiting factor for complex beings on habitable planets.
It’s intriguing that life as we know it depends on a seemingly un-natural distribution of minerals.