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Up to 77 million people in Bangladesh have been exposed to toxic levels of arsenic from drinking water in recent decades, according to a Lancet study.


 Bangladesh arsenic poison drink water
Combining light and arsenic, these bacteria make their food and multiply using a chemical that is toxic to most other life forms.


 arsenic metabolism bacteria photosynthesis evolution
In 1960, Dr Frank Drake came up with the Drake Equation - a formula calculating the likelihood of of extraterrestrial intelligence from seven key elements. The figures, approximate as they were, suggested the number of alien civilisations able to communicate with Earth was at least 10,000. But with the recent discovery of microbes which thrive in an arsenic-rich environment, scientists are now contending with the idea that life on Earth...


 Drake Equation Frank Drake extraterrestrial life arsenic evolution life prehistoric civilization microbe biochemistry
The discovery of a bacterium that could substitute arsenic for phosphorus to survive is refuted by new research. Six elements are considered essential for life - oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, phosphorus and sulphur - so the announcement in 2010 implied one of biology's golden rules had been broken. The findings provoked an immediate backlash and now two new scientific papers suggest the bacterium needs phosphorus to grow after...


 bacteria arsenic phosphorus