Friday, May 27, 2011

concerns arise about arsenic-containing bacteria

1. oxygen, 
2. carbon, 
3. nitrogen, 
4. hydrogen, 
5. sulfur, &
6. phosphorus. 

But NASA astrobiology fellow Felisa Wolfe-Simon and her colleagues isolated a bacterium that, when grown with high arsenic concentrations and no added phosphorus, appears to replace some phosphorus with the chemically similar arsenic in key biomolecules, including DNA.

A startling discovery in and of itself, the finding became even more controversial because 
a NASA press announcement in December implied a connection to the search for extraterrestrial life.

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