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The surprising history of an antioxidant

What came first: oxygen-producing photosynthesis, or compounds that protect cells from oxygen-induced damage? It emerges that one such compound might have been produced in microbes before Earth's oxygenation.

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Figure 1: Biosynthetic pathways to ergothioneine.


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Correspondence to Mark W. Ruszczycky.

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Ruszczycky, M., Liu, Hw. The surprising history of an antioxidant. Nature 551, 37–38 (2017).

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