Studies Refute Arsenic-Based Life Claims

In 2010, scientists announced that they had found a bacterium in California’s arsenic-rich Mono Lake capable of substituting arsenicfor phosphorus—one of six elements considered essential for life—in critical parts of its working biology, including its DNA. The announcement raised the possibility that similar life forms could exist elsewhere in the universe. However, two new scientific papers refute the findings, claiming that there is no evidence arsenic was incorporated into the microbe‘s DNA and that the samples taken in the original study did in fact contain trace amounts of phosphorous that would account for the microbe’s growth. More… Discuss

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