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Friday, December 3, 2010

We are still alone.

A few days ago NASA ignited the imagination of everyone with a laconic press release about a news conference to announce a discovery in astrobiology.

The internet being what it is, the rumors began to grow and grow with most ignorant people thinking it would be concerning the discovery of intelligent life (unfortuantely, no intelligent life has yet been found on the internet*).

Of course that was not the case. The most ideal scenario would be the discovery of some micro-organism outside Earth.

Well they did find a micro-organism in the most bizzare and alien place imaginable: California!
The amazing thing about this bacteria discovered in lake Mono, is that it uses arsenic, a deadly poison, instead of phosphorus in it's DNA chain. This is the first organism we have discovered that can replace one of the six fundamental elements of all life (hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, sulphur and phosphorus).

This completely changes our conceptions of how life can evolve and it widens the spectrum of locations were we should be looking for evidence of life.

In the immortal words of Jeff Goldblum: "Life finds a way!"

*credits to hotshuk for this joke :P

1 comment:

mastorak said...

Even though it was a letdown that the conference was not attended by little green men it is still pretty exciting news