Technical Comments

Comment on “A Bacterium That Can Grow by Using Arsenic Instead of Phosphorus”

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Science  03 Jun 2011:
Vol. 332, Issue 6034, pp. 1149
DOI: 10.1126/science.1201381


Wolfe-Simon et al. (Research Articles, 3 June 2011, p. 1163; published online 2 December 2010) reported that a naturally occurring bacterium, strain GFAJ-1, can substitute arsenic for phosphorus in its biomolecules. However, straightforward experiments to support this claim, including density gradient centrifugation of DNA assumed to contain arsenic, were either not performed or not presented. As a result, the authors’ conclusions remain uncertain.

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