Skip to main content

Arsenic in the Evolution of Earth and Extraterrestrial Ecosystems

Buy Article:

$60.90 plus tax (Refund Policy)


If you were asked to speculate about the form extra-terrestrial life on Mars might take, which geomicrobial phenomenon might you select as a model system, assuming that life on Mars would be 'primitive'? Give your reasons. At the end of my senior year at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1968, I took Professor Ehrlich's final for his Geomicrobiology course. The above question beckoned to me like the Sirens to Odysseus, for if I answered, it would take so much time and thought that I would never get around to the exam's other essay questions and consequently, would be “shipwrecked” by flunking the course. So, I passed it up. With this 41-year perspective in mind, this manuscript is now submitted to Professor Ehrlich for (belated) “extra-credit.” R.S. Oremland

Keywords: arsenic respiring microorganisms; biofilm; biogeochemical cycling; exobiology; planetary evolution

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA, USA 2: Department of Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA, USA 3: Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA 4: Department of Biological Sciences, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Publication date: October 1, 2009

More about this publication?

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Partial Open Access Content
Partial Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more