Detecting microorganisms that live on ... 'arsenic' in the Pacific Ocean

Among the many life on Earth, there are some extremely strange survival organisms.

Recently, scientists have observed a type of ocean bacteria that can survive thanks to arsenic . Microorganisms were discovered in the Pacific Ocean off Mexico.

Researchers believe that this is an ancient survival strategy used in the distant past when less oxygen is available on our planet, but more surprisingly when it still exists.

Picture 1 of Detecting microorganisms that live on ... 'arsenic' in the Pacific Ocean
Arsenic-capable microorganisms open up another way of looking at ocean survival.

The team from the University of Washington in Seattle said it could be a sign of how ocean life will continue to change in the face of climate change, leading to an underwater oxygen index starting. becoming scarce again, the ecosystem may have to change to adapt.

"We have known for a long time that there is very low arsenic content in the ocean. But the idea that organisms can use arsenic to live is a completely new metabolism for the open ocean. ' said oceanographer Gabrielle Rocap.

Previous studies have shown that tiny life forms survive with nitrogen and sulfur without oxygen, the first time researchers have discovered bacteria that can survive thanks to arsenic.

"Arsenic is not only dangerous but also beneficial, has reshaped the way I see this element, " said one of the researchers, Jaclyn Saunders.

These arsenic-sucking microorganisms can account for about 1% of the marine microbial community, learning more about them can help us understand the complex chemical reactions taking place in the ocean.

The next step is to try and develop these bacteria in the laboratory, where their metabolic processes can be studied more closely.

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