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Title: Life Redefined: Microbes Built with Arsenic

Abstract

Life can survive in many harsh environments, from extreme heat to the presence of deadly chemicals. However, life as we know it has always been based on the same six elements -- carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, sulfur and phosphorus. Now it appears that even this rule has an exception. In the saline and poisonous environment of Mono Lake, researchers have found a bacterium that can grow by incorporating arsenic into its structure in place of phosphorus. X-ray images taken at SLAC's synchrotron light source reveal that this microbe may even use arsenic as a building block for DNA. Please join us as we describe this discovery, which rewrites the textbook description of how living cells work.

Authors:
 [1];  [2]
  1. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States). Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL)
  2. National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA); United States Geological Survey (USGS)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1014099
DOE Contract Number:
AC02-76SF00515
Resource Type:
Multimedia
Resource Relation:
Conference: SLAC Public Lecture Series, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Menlo Park, California, presented on March 22, 2011
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; 37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; 43 PARTICLE ACCELERATORS; ARSENIC; CARBON; DNA; FERMILAB ACCELERATOR; HYDROGEN; LIGHT SOURCES; NITROGEN; OXYGEN; PHOSPHORUS; STANFORD LINEAR ACCELERATOR CENTER; SULFUR; SYNCHROTRONS; SLAC; SSRL; MONO LAKE; BACTERIUM; BIOCHEMISTRY; ASTROBIOLOGY; X-RAYS

Citation Formats

Webb, Sam, and Wolfe-Simon, Felisa. Life Redefined: Microbes Built with Arsenic. United States: N. p., 2011. Web.
Webb, Sam, & Wolfe-Simon, Felisa. Life Redefined: Microbes Built with Arsenic. United States.
Webb, Sam, and Wolfe-Simon, Felisa. Tue . "Life Redefined: Microbes Built with Arsenic". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1014099.
@article{osti_1014099,
title = {Life Redefined: Microbes Built with Arsenic},
author = {Webb, Sam and Wolfe-Simon, Felisa},
abstractNote = {Life can survive in many harsh environments, from extreme heat to the presence of deadly chemicals. However, life as we know it has always been based on the same six elements -- carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, sulfur and phosphorus. Now it appears that even this rule has an exception. In the saline and poisonous environment of Mono Lake, researchers have found a bacterium that can grow by incorporating arsenic into its structure in place of phosphorus. X-ray images taken at SLAC's synchrotron light source reveal that this microbe may even use arsenic as a building block for DNA. Please join us as we describe this discovery, which rewrites the textbook description of how living cells work.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2011},
month = {3}
}

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