Fri, 03 Dec 2010 12:10:12 +0000
Do you remember about 2 weeks ago NASA saying they’ll have a major announcement about their “discovery of an exceptional object in our cosmic neighborhood”?
This may be it.
Yesterday, scientists announced the discovery of a new arsenic-based lifeform in California’s Mono Lake. Arsenic, of course, is a deadly poison. Jonathon Seidl of The Blaze reports:
WASHINGTON (The Blaze/AP) — Scientists have discovered a strange bacteria that can use arsenic as one of its nutrients, a discovery some speculate is the big announcement NASA is set to unveil…. The finding widens the possibilities for finding different forms of life here on Earth and possibly on other planets or moons. The unusual bacteria was found in a lake in California.
Six major elements have long been considered essential for life — carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur. But the researchers found that the bacteria is able to continue to grow after substituting arsenic for phosphorous.
Ariel Anbar, a co-author of the report, said “it makes you wonder what else is possible.”
Hmm, an arsenic-based bacteria in a lake in California, while unusual, is hardly that “exceptional object in our cosmic neighborhood” trumpeted by NASA. Besides, I honestly don’t know why the scientists are so excited. We’ve known about strange arsenic-based lifeforms for some time now:
H/t beloved Fellowship co-founder Steve!