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This 3 page paper explores the biochemistry of arsenic and explains that while it is a poison for most organisms, one specific organism has been found to incorporate it into its physiology. Bibliography lists 4 sources.
3 pages (~225 words per page)
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listed below. Citation styles constantly change, and these examples may not contain the most recent updates. Arsenic and Animal Biochemistry Research Compiled for The
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A proven carcinogen, the chemical known as arsenic is actually a metal. While it can be used therapeutically as well, arsenic is
typically considered poisonous to life forms. Indeed, humans themselves are susceptible to this toxin. Millions worldwide are affected by natural arsenic contamination of their lands and waters and
by arsenic contamination resulting from activities such as mining, agricultural, and industrial processes. Researchers have recently learned, however, that not all organisms react all that badly to exposure to
arsenic. Indeed, one bacteria has been found to apparently use arsenic in its physiological processes and to even include it in its DNA. Although the precise nature of
arsenics role in the organisms DNA is highly controversial, the fact that it is there at all serves as a riveting piece of news for a world that has largely
considered arsenic in relation to life forms only in its role a poison. It is important to note that arsenic can
be found in two distinct oxidation states (Ratnaike 391). The trivalent form known as arsenite (AsIII) and the pentavalent form known as arsenate (AsV) (Berlanga 259). The trivalent
form is the most toxic, some sixty times as toxic and the pentavalent form in fact (Ratnaike 391). It is the inorganic form of arsenic that is toxic.