A new life form discovered by scientist
A new life form discovered by scientist

A team of scientists from the University of Washington in  Seattle ( USA ) found marine microorganisms that receive energy for life using arsenic. About it reports the Science Alert.

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The researchers analyzed the DNA of unicellular living in the zone of oxygen minimum, which is located at depths from 200 to 1000 meters. In the absence of oxygen, organisms typically use oxidized sulfur and nitrogen compounds for respiration as electron acceptors. However, experts have discovered genes involved in the oxidation and reduction of arsenic, which is poisonous to humans and other animals.

The existence of such organisms was known before, but so far they have not been found in the ocean. It was believed that arsenic was used for breathing in those times when there was little oxygen on Earth. It is estimated that arsenic-breathing single-cells make up about one percent of marine microbial communities and make a significant contribution to the biochemical cycles of oxygen-free oceanic zones.  

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