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The uncertainty of science! A microbiologist is slamming last week’s NASA discovery that claimed a microbe had incorporated arsenic instead of phosphorus as part of its DNA. Key quote:
In an interview Monday, Redfield said the methods used by the researchers were so crude that any arsenic they detected was likely from contamination. There is no indication that the researchers purified the DNA to remove arsenic that might have been sticking to the outside of the DNA or the gel the DNA was embedded in, she added. Normally, purifying the DNA is a standard step, Redfield said: “It’s a kit, it costs $2, it takes 10 minutes.” She also questioned why the researchers analyzed the DNA while it was still in the gel, making the results more difficult to interpret: “No molecular biologist would ever do that.”