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December 8, NASA: Life with arsenic December 7, Last week, in a much publicized news conference, NASA announced the discovery of a bacterium that can use arsenic instead of phosphorus.
The news media covered it with a flourish -- and produced much nonsense. The paper was posted at the Science magazine web site, so we can look at what was really shown.
Whatever the hype that the news media added, it is an interesting -- but incomplete -- story. The figure at left shows a key experiment; this is Figure 1B of the paper. The graph shows the growth of the bacteria under different conditions.
Number of cells on the y-axis log scale ; time on the x-axis. The three conditions are, from the top: Importantly, if there is no addition, the bacteria grow very little, if at all lower curve.
Then, arsenic in the form of arsenate does indeed stimulate growth middle curve. So does phosphate; in fact, it is better upper curve. The above experiment along with other measurements does seem to establish the basic point: But now let's look at some of the limitations of the story -- as we have it so far.
First, the bug prefers P to As: You can see this in the graph above. They explicitly do not claim that the bug requires or prefers As, merely that it can use it. Second and more importantly, the growth medium with no added P contains a trace level of P.
This probably comes from low levels of P contaminating other chemicals they use.
It's not enough to support growth alone lower curve in the graphbut it does mean that when the bugs are growing on As, they also have a small amount of P available. In fact, analysis of the bacteria grown on As shows a weight ratio of about 7 As: On a mole basis, the ratio would be about half that.
Thus there still is considerable P in the bacteria. They cannot claim a total replacement of As for P. The paper recognizes this limitation, but some of the news coverage does not. This may be interesting, too. So, where is the As in the cell? This becomes particularly important since the replacement is incomplete.
And this is where the paper gets rather weak.
A candle for Christmas December 20, Musings posts items of historical interest from time to time. This one is a book: a book about what happens when a candle burns, a book about chemistry -- premised on the observations of the candle. Dear Twitpic Community - thank you for all the wonderful photos you have taken over the years. We have now placed Twitpic in an archived state. Type or paste a DOI name into the text box. Click Go. Your browser will take you to a Web page (URL) associated with that DOI name. Send questions or comments to doi.
They hand-wave that it is everywhere, but there is little specific information. Where did this bacterium come from? It was isolated from Mono Lake -- a highly alkaline lake in the Sierras of eastern Californiawith a high As level.
Thus it is likely that the starting bug was quite resistant to As. All the reported work was done under lab conditions.
There has been an opportunity for both physiological and genetic adaptation. Thus we do not know whether the bug uses As in nature. This does not minimize the importance of the work as a proof of principle.
It is whatever it is, and it could exist naturally.A methyl red positive enteric bacteria, uses the mixed acid pathway when breaking down pyruvic acid to different acids, like lactic, acetic, and formic acids.
The Voges -Proskauer test determines if there is acetoin found in a bacterial culture. The Hazards of Volcanic Eruptions - The relevance of time and location can play a huge role towards the levels of hazards and consequences that occur when related to a volcanic eruption.
Tumor-suppressor genes act primarily through their influence on the cell benjaminpohle.com life cycle of a cell that divides can be described by a four-phase cell cycle composed of M phase, G 1 phase, S phase, and G 2 phase.
M phase is the phase of mitosis, when the cells physically divides.G 1 phase is the first Gap phase (or Growth phase), which occurs immediately after mitosis. A few years ago, my husband was contacted by genealogists tracking descendants of rabbis from the Lithuanian shtetl of Kelm.
The impoverished little town was known for its fierce schools of Talmudic learning, or yeshivas; it was a centre of Mussar – a strict system of ethics based on logic and the rigorous practice of mindfulness, a meditative approach to self-reflection and prayer.
Megaloblastic anaemia Pathology § Defect in DNA synthesis affecting rapidly dividing cells in bone marrow and other tissues § Disparity in the availability of the precursors of DNA which are required for DNA synthesis during S phase of cell cycle § Adenine, guanine, cytosine and thymidine § In B12 and folate deficiency this is due to an inability to methylate deoxyuridine mo n ophosphate.
Who would have thought that the Jetsons were right and we would try to get everything from one pill? Whether you are eating a poor diet and trying to fill in the gaps with a multivitamin, or eating a balanced diet and taking a multivitamin for insurance against deficiency, dietary supplements in the form of a multivitamin are a part of more than 30 percent of an American’s diet.