All life consists mainly of carbon. An analogue of carbon — silicon, whose content in the earth’s crust is 300 times greater than carbon — is found in very few organisms. Explain this fact in terms of the structure of atoms and the properties of these elements.
Silicon atoms have a large mass and radius, they are more difficult to form a double or triple covalent bond, which can interfere with the formation of biopolymers. Silicon compounds may not be as diverse as carbon compounds.
Silicon dioxide, an analogue of carbon dioxide in carbon forms of life, is a solid, poorly soluble substance. This creates difficulties for the entry of silicon into biological systems based on aqueous solutions, even if the existence of biological molecules based on it is possible.
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