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Living off Toxic Waste -- Bacteria That Munch on Arsenic (4 of 9)

Caption: Digging in the mud for science. Here, Dr. Felisa Wolfe-Simon is taking samples from a sediment core she pulled up from the remote shores of 10 Mile Beach at Mono Lake in California. She uses these samples as starters for cultures to select for interesting microbes that can survive and flourish with high arsenic and no added phosphorus. (September 2010). Moonrise over Mono Lake. Mono Lake, located in eastern California, is bounded to the west by the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This ancient alkaline lake is known for unusual tufa formations rising from the water's surface (shown here) as well as for its hypersalinity and high concentrations of arsenic. (September 2010). This image relates to an article that appeared in the Dec. 2, 2010, issue of Science Express, published by AAAS. The study, by Dr. Felisa Wolfe-Simon at NASA Astrobiology Institute in Menlo Park, Calif., and colleagues was titled, "A Bacterium That Can Grow by Using Arsenic Instead of Phosphorus."

Credit: Image © 2010 Henry Bortman

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