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NASA Discovers Alien Life In California

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http://kotaku.com/5704249/nasa-discovers-alien-life-in-california

Today NASA will hold a press conference revealing to the world the discovery of a form of life unlike any other on Earth. What twisted alien landscape gave birth to such a life form? Try California.

Dr. Felisa Wolfe-Simon of the US Geological Survey in Menlo Park, California has been plumbing the depths Mono Lake for quite some time. The alkaline and hypersaline lake, located in California's Mono County, is one of the world's most naturally concentrated sources of arsenic. Arsenic is highly poisonous to most forms of multi-cellular life, but Wolfe-Simon believed that life could exist in the lake; just not life as we know it. She hoped to discover life so fundamentally different from that of any known life on Earth that it would prove the existence of a shadow biosphere, as well as a second genesis for life on Earth.

Speaking to the UK's Times Online earlier this year, Wolfe-Simon teased that her research had generated "some very exciting data," and that results would be published by the end of this year.

Apparently her search was successful, and NASA is ready to tell the world.

Phosphorus, along with hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur, make up the fundamental building blocks of life as we know it. Wolfe-Simon has discovered a bacteria that swaps out phosphorus with arsenic. The discovery that a life form can be comprised of something other than the six fundamental building blocks of life changes everything.

Biology textbooks will need to be rewritten. They Might Be Giants will have to re-record their song "Meet the Elements," though they left out phosphorus and sulfur the first time around anyway.

For Astrobiology, the study of life elsewhere in the universe, the impact of this discovery is tremendous. For years astrobiologists have been basing the potential for alien worlds to support life on the presence of the fundamental building blocks of life. Now that we know they aren't as fundamental as we first thought, the search will have to change.

Hopefully NASA will discuss how the search for extraterrestrial life will change on the heels of this news later today during the official press conference.

As for my original speculation that life was found on Saturn's moon Rhea? The jury isn't out yet. As today's news demonstrates, stranger things have happened.

EDIT: Another article on it http://kotaku.com/5704462/poison+based-bacteria-redefines-life-as-we-know-it

Sledgstone and Ladywriter like this

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this is awesome


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                                               Look at the flowers

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Yes, to know that life can exist in hostile environments breaks open so much. We've been so ignorant looking only in the places we could survive... who knows what we could have missed skipping over other celestial bodies we stuck out noses up at.


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Heres another good article about this:

http://www.nature.com/news/2010/101202/full/news.2010.645.html

If part of DNA can can be made out of a completely different chemical than all other life on the planet... then that opens so many possibilities for life to exist elsewhere. Maybe DNA can be formed from a completely different chemical mix never thought to be possible. and yeah, there could be life completely and utterly alien out there and we may have been looking right past it because the planet or moon might not have been earth-like. What if humans and earth are the anomaly, and life actually flourishes in most poisonous and hostile conditions but we never bothered to check? O_O


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Scientists poke holes in NASA’s arsenic-eating microbe discovery

http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20101208/sc_yblog_thelookout/scientists-poking-holes-in-nasas-arsenic-eating-microbe-discovery

.."I was outraged at how bad the science was," University of British Columbia microbiology professor Rosie Redfield told Slate's Carl Zimmer. Redfield also posted a scathing critique of the report on her blog.

Redfield and other detractors point out that when NASA scientists removed the DNA from the bacteria for examination, they didn't take the steps necessary to wash away other types of molecules. That means, according to the critics, that the arsenic may have merely clung to the bacteria's DNA for a ride without becoming truly ingrained into it.

The report's detractors also note that the NASA scientists fed the bacteria salts that contained trace amounts of phosphate, so it's possible that the bacteria were able to survive on those tiny helpings of phosphate instead of the arsenic...

Pchan likes this

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Hahaha awesome!


I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do.

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lol thats a good 1


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                                               Look at the flowers

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