You will have noticed the lakes of journalist ink spilt on the discovery of a microbe with a remarkable ability to use arsenic as an essential mineral. If it has no phosphorus, it uses arsenic and just keeps on living. This challenges long-standing ideas about the chemical recipes for life. The news was generated by the study of the ooze of Mono Lake, on the eastern slopes of the Sierras in California. Some incredible tripe was written. “Hope of finding ET-style life on other worlds has gotten a massive boost after scientists discovered microbes in a deadly poisonous ARSENIC lake.” The Sun U.K. Your correspondent rushed to the spot.
As usual David Perlman, SF Chronicle, got it right
The research was done by Felisa Wolfe-Simon who had the last word by naming the microbe GFAJ-1, GFAJ stands for “Give Felisa a Job.”