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Chemical Element Bromine Is Essential To Human Life: Scientists

Update Date: Jun 06, 2014 08:39 AM EDT

Up until now 27 chemical elements were considered to be essential for human life. Well, now there are 28 and the latest edition is bromine. 

According to researchers, bromine is essential for tissue development in all animals, from primitive sea creatures to humans. 

"Without bromine, there are no animals. That's the discovery," said Billy Hudson, Ph.D., the paper's senior author and Elliott V. Newman Professor of Medicine, in the press release. 

Researchers showed that fruit flies died when bromine was removed from their diet but it survived when it was restored. 

"Multiple patient groups ... have been shown to be bromine deficient," said McCall, an M.D./Ph.D. student. Bromine supplementation may improve the health of patients on dialysis or total parenteral nutrition (TPN), for example, press release added. 

Conserved across the animal kingdom, peroxidasin also may play a role in disease. An overactive enzyme may lead to excessive deposition of collagen IV and thickening of the basement membrane, which can impair kidney function, researchers reported in the journal Nature Chemical Biology.

Hudson added that the foundation for the discovery about bromine goes back to 30 years when he was at the University of Kansas Medical School. 

In the current study, researchers demonstrated the unique and essential role for ionic bromide as a "co-factor," enabling peroxidasin to form the sulfilimine bond. "The chemical element bromine is thus essential for animal development and tissue architecture," researchers wrote. 

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