Controversy over a bacterium that grows in arsenic — Can arsenic sustain life?

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The scientific community has been very busy debating over a controversial issue surrounding a bacterium from California.

English: Felisa Wolfe-Simon at the 2011 Time 1...

Dr. Felisa Wolfe-Simon

It all started when NASA astrobiology fellow Dr. Felisa Wolfe-Simon and her team published a research article in Science in December 2010. Wolfe-Simon and colleagues have isolated a strain of bacterium called GFAJ-1 from arsenic-rich Mono Lake, California. In the paper, the authors reported that this GFAJ-1 can grow in arsenic cultures without phosphorus.  Furthermore, they announced that the bacterium can incorporate arsenic into essential biomolecues, including DNA and proteins. Continue reading –>

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  1. Pingback: Controversy over a bacterium that grows in arsenic — an update | Something About Science