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This is the most awesome thing in the whole world ever! - helen-louise
This is the most awesome thing in the whole world ever!
Bacteria first species observed to use arsenic-laced DNA backbone

Evolutionary geochemist Felisa Wolfe-Simon, the lead author, and her colleagues found a strain of bacterium (GFAJ-1 of the Halomonadaceae family) that can grow in a medium abundant in arsenic and lacking phosphorus. The GFAJ-1 bacterium naturally resides in the arsenic-rich waters (200 uM) of Mono Lake located in California's Eastern Sierra, and it belongs to a family of proteobacteria that is known to accumulate arsenic. It's not remarkable that GFAJ-1 survives in high concentrations of arsenic, but what is startling is that it potentially integrates arsenic into its DNA and proteins.


Current Mood: enthralled enthralled

3 comments or Leave a comment
brooksmoses From: brooksmoses Date: 2nd December 2010 21:16 (UTC) (Link)
That's pretty remarkable, indeed! Thanks for the link!

It is astounding just how flexible and resilient DNA-based life actually is, and what it can adapt to.

(Incidentally, the link to the original Science paper at the bottom of that article is broken, but here's the right link.)
thekumquat From: thekumquat Date: 3rd December 2010 00:06 (UTC) (Link)
From: hattifattener Date: 3rd December 2010 07:57 (UTC) (Link)
I liked this paper [pdf] from a few years ago by a few of the investigators (it mentions Mono Lake as a possible place to go looking for life from other biogeneses, which GFAJ-1 isn't, though it is still neat).
3 comments or Leave a comment