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Organisms utilizing such ‘weird life’ biochemical pathways may have supported a ‘shadow biosphere’ at the time of the origin and early evolution of life on Earth or on other planets. Such organisms may even persist on Earth today, undetected, in unusual niches.
Arsenic(III) Fuels Anoxygenic Photosynthesis in Hot Spring Biofilms from Mono Lake, California
We Hypothesize that ancient biochemical systems, analogous to but distinct from those known today, could have utilized arsenate in the equivalent biological role as phosphate
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
1. Owing political allegiance to another country or government; foreign: alien residents.
2. Belonging to, characteristic of, or constituting another and very different place, society, or person; strange. See Synonyms at foreign.
3. Dissimilar, inconsistent, or opposed, as in nature: emotions alien to her temperament.