NASA-Funded Research Discovers Life Built with Toxic Chemical

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NASA-funded astrobiology research has changed the fundamental knowledge about what comprises all known life on Earth.

Researchers conducting tests in the harsh environment of Mono Lake in California have discovered the first known microorganism on Earth able to thrive and reproduce using the toxic chemical arsenic. The microorganism substitutes arsenic for phosphorus in its cell components.

This finding of an alternative biochemistry makeup will alter biology textbooks
and expand the scope of the search for life beyond Earth. The research
is published in this week’s edition of Science Express.

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