Arsenic Bacteria link-dump

Just so I can have all of them in one place:

Mono Lake bacteria build their DNA using arsenic (and no, this isn’t about aliens) and Science gets it (mostly) wrong again: My take on the NASA astrobiology paper and Lots of Ink for a few extremophiles: We’ve been invaded by aliens, Monolakians, from the Duncecap Galaxy and When life gives you arsenic, make arsenate-backboned DNA, non-alien Halomonadaceae!

The Real Scoop on Aliens Oops Arsenic in Old Lakes and Bacteria Use Arsenic As Basic Building Block In A Pinch and Poison Nil: Mono Lake Bacterium Exhibits Exotic Arsenic-Driven Biological Activity and Arsenic and Odd Lace and It’s not an arsenic-based life form.

Arsenic and Old Lakes: NASA Finds Life NOT As We Know It and Arsenic-Eating Bacteria Expands Definition of Life and It Came From Mono Lake and Complete heresy: life based on arsenic instead of phosphorus and Bacteria eat arsenic – and survive!

Arsenic-associated bacteria (NASA’s claims) and Arsenic-permissive bacteria – implications for arsenical cancer chemotherapy and Are there viruses of arsenic-utilizing bacteria? and The ‘Give Me a Job’ Microbe

Of Arsenic and Aliens and NASA’s real news: bacterium on Earth that lives off arsenic! and Close Encounters of the Media Kind and A Life Less Ordinary and Life With Arsenic: Who’d Have Thought? and Medicine! Poison! Arsenic! Life itself!

Why “alien” life, aka arsenic-loving bacteria, embargo fiasco was deja vu for Sun Spaceman Paul Sutherland and Did you know you could have bet on the NASA arsenic-based bacteria find? and On science blogs this week: Alien abductions and Nasa dismisses criticism of ‘arsenic bacteria’ research

Arsenic-Eating Bacteria May Not Redefine Life, But Could They Be Useful in Oil Spill Cleanup? and A new life form? Not so fast and Arsenic and Old Lace and Arsenic-Based Life

The Wrong Stuff: NASA Dismisses Arsenic Critique Because Critical Priest Not Standing on Altar and NASA: science shouldn’t be debated in media and blogs?! and Not getting it and “This Paper Should Not Have Been Published”: Scientists see fatal flaws in the NASA study of arsenic-based life.

Unquestioning dogma: the gatekeepers of science and Death for “Arsenic-Based Life”? and My summary of NASA’s arsenic-thriving bacteria story and Arsenic and Bacteria: “nothing in that paper is going into my biochemistry textbook” and Why was #PLoS ONE blamed for the media hype about the Darwinius and Red Sea papers, but when it comes to the latest overblown #Science paper, it is #NASA that’s blamed for the hype? (same applies to Venter’s synthetic life: Venter gets the blame not Science) and Heavy Metal

And the skeptics keep chiming in…George Cody on arsenic life and NASA discovers life on Earth and Extraordinary claims attract extraordinary blogging and The Value of Blogs and Ordinary evidence would do

[guest post: Alex Bradley, PhD] Arsenate-based DNA: a big idea with big holes and On how science happens – Case Study: NASA, Arsenic, and Controversy and Is That Arsenic-Loving Bug — Formerly an Alien — a Dog?

Hat die NASA Aliens gefunden? (natürlich nicht) and Die Arsen-Bakterien: Doch ein lohnendes Forschungsobjekt? and Science Is Sexy: Why Do NASA’s New Arsenic Bacteria Matter? and NASA’s arsenic microbe science slammed and Inside scoop from the NASA man who was way ahead of the rest of NASA on those Mono microbes with arsenic in their genes.

NASA’s new life form: Underwhelming? and Did NASA really find new life? and NASA’s Arsenic-Eating “Alien” Bacteria Is More Like Science-Fiction and Was NASA’s big announcement a big mistake? and NASA’s Arsenic-Loving Bacteria Don’t Love Arsenic After All, Critics Say.

An arsenic bacteria postmortem: NASA responds, tries to pit blogs vs. “credible media organizations” and The Right Place for Scientific Debate?: Scientists snub media as controversy over arsenic-eating microbes rolls on and Hey, NASA: this is what peer review actually looks like.

The dubious arsenic bacterium and Life on Arsenic? and NASA arsenic story – let’s lay off the personal attacks on all sides and Scientific dissention: shouldn’t we all be nice? and Arsenic about face and My Letter to Science and DNA, Phosphorus, and Arsenic and NASA can’t have it both ways.

Wolfe-Simon et al Comment: 08 December 2010 and Scientists: NASA’s claim of microbe that can live on arsenic is ‘flawed’ and Did NASA follow its own code of conduct in announcing the arsenic bacteria study? (Hint: No) and Post-publication peer review in public: poison or progress?

Of arsenic and aliens: What the critics said and Falsehoods associated with the arsenic-thriving bacteria story: What it is and what it isn’t and Critics raise doubts on NASA’s arsenic bacteria and Three Tales of Arsenic Tolerant Bacteria

Robert Sheldon, ID proponent, defending the arsenic bacteria paper? Oh dear God. and Arsenic Bacteria Breed Backlash and Don’t Like Arsenic Bacteria? Put Your Experiment Where Your Mouth Is! and GFAJ-1: Get Fighting And Jousting! and Albert Eschenmoser and I Had Arsenic for Lunch

Arsenic bacteria – a post-mortem, a review, and some navel-gazing and Of Arsenic, Slime Molds, and Life on Other Worlds and On science blogs this week: Arsenic bugging and Science Weekly: The arsenic bacterium that could help find life in outer space

Aliens, arsenic and alternative peer-review: Has science publishing become too conservative? and Arsenic up for Review and Arsenate redux and No-one cuts deeper than a Science Blogger. and Your daily dose of arsenic: On the Madeleine Brand Show on KPCC

The Agency That Cried “Awesome!” and Arsenic and Primordial Ooze: A History Lesson and Poisoned Debate Encircles a Microbe Study’s Result and How to harness distributed discussion of research papers and Molecular evolution of an arsenate detoxification pathway by DNA shuffling

If a Microbe Can Do It…: Finding Happiness Even Amid Toxicity (this one is total crap, but what do you expect from HuffPo)

Science Weekly: The great arsenic bacteria backlash and Good Science or good publicity? and Arsenic And Peer Review and Communication – it’s not just for cells and MEDIA ADVISORY: M10-167 and Ambitions of an Early Career Scientist? and Scientific knowledge – getting closer to the right answer

Where can we find arsenic in a DNA structure? and Not Exactly Rocket Science etc -The Great Monolakian Arsenic Issue and its quick rise to fame and flame and The Arsenic Chronicles and In Search of Life: SETI has come a long way over the years, but is the search really important? and Just to be clear: Ed Yong does read the primary literature

Calling Dr. Kane and A new kind of life? and Response required and More on Arsenic Bugs – Nature responds to the blogosphere

The arsenic post I never wrote and What Alien Bacteria Can Teach Us About Health PR and Response to Questions Concerning the Science Article, A Bacterium That Can Grow by Using Arsenic Instead of Phosphorous (PDF) and Real science – warts and all

Arsenic bacteria study authors respond to critics and Using the ‘arsenic bacteria’ story as a teaching moment for undergraduates

A Funny Arsenic Smell Upstream — What questions is it fair to ask about squishy science? and Comments on Dr. Wolfe-Simon’s Response and Yet another reason why the Wolfe-Simon conclusion is so improbable and Arsenic and Old Wounds

Scientists and the News Media: Arsenic-Based Life Forms a Case Study? and Arsenic Bacteria 4: The Quest for Peace and Confused about Arsenic

Exclusive Interview: Discoverer of Arsenic Bacteria, in the Eye of the Storm and #ArsenicLife #Fail: A teachable moment and Response to the critics.

Phosphorus beats arsenic…by a factor of seventeen powers of ten and An arsenic-laced bad-news letter: Who is the audience for online post-publication peer review?

Added four months later:
Arsenic life, four months later: pay no attention to the internet and Arsenic life, four months (and a bit) later: Reviewers with shovels and Comment posted on Rosen paper and Response from Drs. McDermott and Rosen about their arsenic paper and Arsenic Author Dumps Peer Review, Takes Case to TED and Felisa Wolfe-Simon (of arsenic infamy) is no more convincing in person than in print

And another couple of months later:

Science Publishes “Arsenic is Life” Critiques. Game On., Arsenic, RNA, and the unpleasant aftertaste of hype, The Discovery of Arsenic-Based Twitter, “The Center of Gravity Has Shifted.” Carl Zimmer on the Arsenic Paper, Critics weigh in on arsenic life.

Arseniclife: The formal critiques and the authors’ responses, Wolfe-Simon et al.’s responses to my comments, How to test the arsenic-DNA claims, How might a bacterium evolve to use arsenic in place of phosphorus?.

Arsenic-based bacteria: Fact or fiction?, Critics take aim at NASA ‘arsenic life’ study, Debate over arsenic-based life enters a new chapter, Science Publishes Multiple Critiques of Arsenic Bacterium Paper

#arseniclife, peer review, and the scientific process, High Impact Science in a Hyperactive Media Environment, Arsenic life – more criticism, formally published, Post publication peer review – a new way of doing science?.

Were my original #arseniclife criticisms overly personal?, Examples of good astrobiology please, Further panning of the arsenic life claims, Minding the As and P: Can Arsenic Substitute for Phosphorus or Not?.

What the Coburn report has in common with arsenic life, Finding the truth is a waste of time, scientists say, Does Arsenic Really Exist in the DNA from GFAJ-1?, The Arsenic Paper is out, along with eight critiques.

Return of the Arsenic Bacterium, Felisa Wolfe-Simon Does NOT Get It, Arsenic-based life debate continues, Follow arsenic life science “live”.

From the shadows to the spotlight to the dustbin – the rise and fall of GFAJ-1, Arsenic bacteria have changed science…science education that is.

Just in case I do decide to test the #arseniclife …, Working safely with arsenic (what I’d need to know), Guest post about #arseniclife, Starting to work with GFAJ-1!, They’re here!, Counting the GFAJ-1 cells, Vitamins are for wusses (#arseniclife), Why would GFAJ-1 grow much better on agar than in liquid?, Maybe it’s the water? Or the tubes?

It’s not the water, nor the tubes, nor the parafilm…, No excuses… , More detailed plans, GFAJ-1 (no real progress to report), Life and death of GFAJ-1.


19 responses to “Arsenic Bacteria link-dump

  1. Among major bloggers at ScienceBlogs, I’ve lost some respect for Laden over this; he has come off to me as a pretty uncritical “fluffer” of this issue, to the point of getting huffy when I asked him if he had motive while pointing out that NASA had clear motive – budgetary/fiscal – for its actions.

  2. Which is why his posts are not included here…

  3. Pingback: Life on Arsenic? « Science Life Blog « University of Chicago Medical Center

  4. Pingback: Robert Sheldon, ID proponent, defending the arsenic bacteria paper? Oh dear God. « Homologous Legs

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  6. To clarify – I just did not have time and energy to read through Greg’s post. I did not include posts I did not read. I have to be somewhat selective lest this collection gets too long and unwieldy so I include only posts I have read AND I think add to the discussion. Perhaps he makes good points, I don’t know, and have no time, energy and nerves to go back now and slog through again.

  7. Bora, thanks for the clarification.

    I wrote two posts on this. One does not critique the research at all, and that was not the intent of the post. Rather, I used the possibility of A/P substitution as a foil to discuss a totally different issue related to Darwin and evolution. So, while I would have thought it would be included here since it is related (and the NYT saw fit to point to in, and so on), I can see that a reasonably narrow definition of what constitutes membership on this link list would exclude it. And it was long.

    The other post specifically address the question of critique of NASA. There has been a lot of critique of NASA’s handling of this and much of that I’m sure is valid. However, the initial critique by many bloggers consisted of an uncritical mixing of concern over claims by various press outlets of aliens or life forms unrelated to anything else, and so on, accusing NASA of sparking these claims. As far as I know, none of those claims was made by NASA or implied in their very short initial announcement, though I can see where someone looking for aliens would see aliens. In other words, I felt the critique should have been focused on the news outlets that were hyping the story from, essentially, nothing. So that post is not about A/P substitution, but rather, about the hype. Interestingly, my post calls for a discussion of the issue and how NASA could have done better, and of all the comments about conspiracies and the validity of the research, there were exactly two that hit the mark, and both did very well.

    And no, Socratic Gadfly, while it is a little bit interesting that my redirecting ‘blame’ towards and such led you to think I was somehow involved in a conspiracy, it just isn’t true. Oh, and I did not say NASA lacked budgetary motive. In fact, I said they did. I noted that research institutions have it in their own interest to have positive and widespread press about their work.

  8. What is “Conspiracy Theory” is what the Domain of Ignorance rule Our Minds and Psyche-And The Arsenic Bacteria Press Event of NASA manifests plenty of ignorance to go around and admission of Ignorance is not synonym to admission of guilt either – Often We do not know the magnitude of many discovery as we comment on and I for one admit that lacking right away and secondly rarely we know the exacting environment the research is conducted at NASA and those who are there ,are there as Stakeholders of the Institution they work for.So They would seek recognition and support from the public-very normal and natural human response to outer environment i;e.”The Public”. So, the Press of NASA is quite O.K. on that ground.On the basis of scientific grounding of the research outcome I am not at all full of possessions of technical details or know-how-so I defer to the ongoing debate as reader only.Muhmammad Zamiluddin Khan’92,HSPH,a. k. a. Zamil Khan

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  10. I have one more for your list.

    No poison – just data.

    Where can we find arsenic in a DNA structure?

  11. Pingback: The arsenic post I never wrote | Culturing Science – biology as relevant to us earthly beings

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