We can finally know what life on Earth was breathing before there was oxygen

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Billions of years ago, long before oxygen was readily available, the notorious poisonous arsenic could have been the compound that breathed new life into our planet.

In Chile’s Atacama Desert, in a place called Laguna La Brava, scientists studied a purple ribbon of photosynthetic microbes living in a hypersaline lake that is permanently oxygen free.

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