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Science. 2011 Jun 3;332(6034):1149; author reply 1149. doi: 10.1126/science.1201304. Epub 2011 May 27.

Comment on "A bacterium that can grow by using arsenic instead of phosphorus".

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  • 1The Westheimer Institute for Science and Technology, 720 South 2nd Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32601, USA.


Wolfe-Simon et al. (Research Articles, 3 June 2011, p. 1163; published online 2 December 2010) reported that bacterium GFAJ-1 can substitute arsenic for phosphorus in its macromolecules, including DNA and proteins. If such arseno-DNA exists, then much of the past century of work with arsenate and phosphate chemistry, as well as much of what we think we know about metabolism, will need rewriting.

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