Arsenate: Difference between revisions

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In 2008, bacteria were discovered that employ a version of [[photosynthesis]] with arsenites as [[electron donor]]s, producing arsenates (just like ordinary photosynthesis uses water as electron donor, producing molecular oxygen). The researchers conjectured that historically these photosynthesizing organisms produced the arsenates that allowed the arsenate-reducing bacteria to thrive.<ref>[http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/News/2008/August/15080802.asp "Arsenic-loving bacteria rewrite photosynthesis rules"], ''Chemistry World'', 15 August 2008</ref>
 
In 2010, a team at [[NASA]]'s [[NASA Astrobiology Institute|Astrobiology Institute]] cultured samples of arsenic-resistant [[GFAJ-1]] bacteria from [[Mono Lake]], using a medium high in arsenate and low in phosphate concentration. The findings suggest that the bacteria may partially incorporate arsenate in place of phosphate in some biomolecules, including DNA,<ref>[http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2010/12/01/science.1197258.short "A Bacterium That Can Grow by Using Arsenic Instead of Phosphorus"]. Wolfe-Simon F., Blum J.S., Kulp T.R., Gordon G.W., Hoeft S.E., Pett-Ridge J., Stolz J.F., Webb S.M., Weber P.K., Davies P.C.W., Anbar A.D., Oremland R.S. ''Science Express''. 2 December 2010.</ref><ref>[httphttps://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/12/nasa-finds-arsenic-life-form/ "NASA Finds New Arsenic-Based Life Form in California"], ''Wired Science'', 2 December 2010</ref> However, these claims were immediately debated and critiqued in correspondence to the original journal of publication,<ref>Wolfe-Simon, F., Blum, J.S., Kulp, T.R., Gordon, G.W., Hoeft, S.E., Pett-Ridge, J., Stolz, J.F., Webb, S.M., Weber, P.K., Davies, P.C.W., Anbar, A.D. & Oremland, R.S. Response to Comments on "A Bacterium That Can Grow Using Arsenic Instead of Phosphorus", ''Science'', 27 May 2011, and references therein. Bibcode 2011Sci...332.1149W. doi:10.1126/science.1202098. Accessed 30 May 2011</ref> and have since come to be widely disbelieved.<ref>Drahl, C. "The Arsenic-Based-Life Aftermath. Researchers challenge a sensational claim, while others revisit arsenic biochemistry", ''Chem. Eng. News'' '''90'''(5), 42–47, 30 January 2012. http://cen.acs.org/articles/90/i5/Arsenic-Based-Life-Aftermath.html; accessed 13 October 2012</ref> Reports refuting the most significant aspects of the original results have been published in the journal of the original research in 2012, including by researchers from the [[University of British Columbia]] and [[Princeton University]].<ref>''Science''. 8 July 2012. "GFAJ-1 Is an Arsenate-Resistant, Phosphate-Dependent Organism." doi: 10.1126/science.1218455. Accessed 10 July 2012.</ref><ref>''Science''. 8 July 2012. "Absence of Detectable Arsenate in DNA from Arsenate-Grown GFAJ-1 Cells."</ref> Following the publication of the articles challenging the conclusions of the original Science article first describing GFAJ-1 it was argued that the original article should be retracted because of misrepesentation of critical data.<ref>http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com/2012/07/09/despite-refutation-science-arsenic-life-paper-deserves-retraction-scientist-argues/#comments</ref>
 
==See also==
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