Tag Archives: GFAJ-1

Controversy over a bacterium that grows in arsenic — an update

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Astrobiology Press Conference (201012020001HQ)

Dr. Felisa Wolfe-Simon at Astrobiology Press Conference

The upheaval in the scientific community revolving around the allegedly arsenic-exploiting bacterium has neared its end.

The turmoil started at the end of year 2010 when Dr. Felisa Wolfe-Simon, a NASA astrobiology fellow, reported that her team has isolated a strain of bacterium termed GFAJ-1 which not only can grow in arsenic-rich medium but also incorporates arsenic into its essential biomolecules, including DNA and proteins. (For more recap, check out my older post.) Arsenic is very similar to phosphorus. However, unlike phosphorus which is essential to living creatures, arsenic is poisonous. Continue reading –>

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

***This blog has moved to a new location. Visit the new site for more posts and updates! (http://www.SomethingAboutScience.com)***

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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