The Controversial Arsenic Loving Bacteria

19 December 2010
Posted by Chris Smith.

The discovery of bacteria that appear to thrive on toxic arsenic may have implications for our understanding of the chemistry of life, both on Earth and elsewhere.  But the resulting criticisms and controversy may overshadow the discovery, by questioning the very way scientists discuss their work...

Read more:

Thriving on Arsenic - Rethinking the Chemistry of Life

Original Paper:

A Bacterium That Can Grow by Using Arsenic Instead of Phosphorus; Felisa Wolfe-Simon, Jodi Switzer Blum, Thomas R. Kulp, Gwyneth W. Gordon, Shelley E. Hoeft, Jennifer Pett-Ridge, John F. Stolz, Samuel M. Webb, Peter K. Weber, Paul C. W. Davies, Ariel D. Anbar, and Ronald S. Oremland; Science; Published online 2 December 2010 [DOI:10.1126/science.1197258]

Dr Rosemary Redfield's Blog, detailing some of the criticisms of the paper.

Dr Felisa Wolfe-Simon's website, with responses and clarifications.

Nature responds to the controvercy:  Microbe gets toxic response; Nature 468, 741 (2010) doi:10.1038/468741a

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