Arsenic Life Forms found in California
Scientists in California recently discovered life forms whose DNA is based on arsenate.
Scientists have just made an amazing discovery. It shocks many, and fuels the interest of others. Researchers have managed to substitute arsenic where there should be phosphorus in a bacterium – and it continued to build itself as a living thing.
Arsenic is a chemical element. Its symbol is “As”, and it was first documented in the year 1250. It is toxic to insects and bacteria, which is what makes this scientific innovation so astounding. That an element that is toxic to bacteria could be used in the place of phosphorous in a bacterium’s DNA is nigh unbelievable – and indeed, some are doubting this remarkable discovery.
For the study, scientists had taken microbes from closed-basin lake in California, which was, as a result of its location, very salty. They fed arsenate to some of the microbes, and finally succeeded in substituting arsenate for phosphate, which is where they became amazed, seeing that the bacteria continued to grow, despite a change in elements that are critical to physical life. Until this point, it was thought that living organisms were only compatible with phosphorylated DNA, but now the research is showing that perhaps DNA containing arsenate can produce similar results.
Those are the facts regarding the recent buzz concerning arsenic life forms. Thank you for reading!