Alright so as it is known, trans-uranic elements are universally unstable. However, in this setting, I'm using forms of quark matter that can imitate the nucleus of transuranic elements at least mass wise and chemistry wise. Now, let's assume these elements behave chemically and physically identical to trans-uranic elements but are entirely stable. Now if they were abundant enough and incorporated into some form of biochemistry, what would be their roles and/or the advantages of using them?

Thank you.

Note: The aufbau principle has collapsed around these atomic numbers, as far as I can tell that implies energy levels have been rehashed and so some or several of these elements would be chemically similar.

Also, some trends like decreasing electronegativity in group 1 alkali earth metals get reversed after caesium.

Edit: Thanks Sean O'Conner for the first answer, but to update, some of the superactinide series like Unbibium (Z = 122) will possess a main oxidation state of 4+ and Unbihexium (Z = 126) will possess potential oxidation state of 8+ and a main oxidation state of +4, with +1,+2,+6 and +7 as other states. Furthermore the +3 oxidation state alone is only predicted in 5 out of 20 elements, so I think the answer is incomplete when it comes to superactinides.

Edit: apparently one element is predicted to have a main state of +12


2 Answers 2


Radiation armor

scaly foot gastropod


The scaly foot gastropod incorporates iron sulfides into its armor. No-one knows why but I lke to think it is to protect against high levels of ambient radiation in the deep sea vent environment where they live.

In your world with superheavy elements readily available, these are incorporated into armor. The massive atoms act as shields against radiation common in this environment. Additionally the great mass conferred by these heavy elements makes the small snail-like creature very heavy for its volume, and so less prone to be dislodged by strong currents and swept off into the abyss.

Here is a related scheme is which calcium is partly replaced by element 166 in a human skeleton. Can osmium replace calcium or be placed in with it to make an organic human exoskeleton

  • $\begingroup$ TYSM, this is exactly what I'm looking for. $\endgroup$ Jun 16, 2022 at 1:49

+3 oxidation states and a propensity to form oxides. No useful biochemistry (unless you handwave in enzymes with them in active sites). That stuff at the bottom of the periodic table is actually really really dull, chemically speaking. The fun is in the nuclei.

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    $\begingroup$ I think I'll take the enzyme option then, thank you. If I remember correctly I saw lanthanides being used in an enzyme for bacteria using carbon disulfide as food, then pooping out carbon dioxide. As an enzyme would there be specific advantages or applications? Or perhaps as a ligand like the iron ion you find in haemoglobin? $\endgroup$ Jun 10, 2022 at 11:36
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    $\begingroup$ Lanthanides are used as enzymes, but I'm rather surprised to see that they really are a bit interchangeable. According to this the "narrow" specificity ADH enzymes using rare earths will use anything from La3+ to Nd3+, while others take anything from La3+ to Gd3+. (That doesn't mean the whole field is covered, nor is one enzyme the last word on anything, but so far Sean's position is holding up) $\endgroup$ Jun 10, 2022 at 22:13
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    $\begingroup$ They tend to occur all together when mined and they're so similar that separating them is a huge headache. Enzymes just taking a different ion and still working would be extraordinary elsewhere in the periodic table. They all look like they have plenty of oxidation states on paper but then they all go and form X2O3. Interesting to see the predicted superactinides might be different. $\endgroup$
    – user86462
    Jun 10, 2022 at 22:30
  • $\begingroup$ Since a variety of oxidation states are available, what do you predict its uses would be? I'd love to have some predictions as it gives me good enough data to worldbuild. Thank you for your replies, it's been educating. $\endgroup$ Jun 10, 2022 at 23:29

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