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Still Waters

Electric life forms that live on pure energy

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STICK an electrode in the ground, pump electrons down it, and they will come: living cells that eat electricity. We have known bacteria to survive on a variety of energy sources, but none as weird as this. Think of Frankenstein's monster, brought to life by galvanic energy, except these "electric bacteria" are very real and are popping up all over the place.

http://www.newscient...ml#.U8phHUCg4dX

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Fascinating information. :tu:

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That means in plain English: Life does not need biology nor water, nor chemistry....

If factual this could throw many of our concepts over board... and the interesting question then is: is there a life form around we are not aware of and that is not aware of us?

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This is the most interesting thing I have heard in a very long time. :tu:

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Always cool to find new organisms on our planet.

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We have bacteria that live in jet fuel and can feed off nuclear waste. Life is indeed amazing.

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Posted (edited)

Perhaps energy life is earlier then ocean cell life ;)

"Two types are currently known, Shewanella and Geobacter, however scientists have been discovering even more by enticing them out of rocks and sediment using electrical bait."

Edited by spartan max2

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I work with several people in their early 20s who seem to live off of nothing but pure sugary Energy Drinks.

However, biologically if this does not expand the concept of what life is and what it takes to foster and support life....well then, I am not sure what will.

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Posted (edited)

That means in plain English: Life does not need biology nor water, nor chemistry....

If factual this could throw many of our concepts over board... and the interesting question then is: is there a life form around we are not aware of and that is not aware of us?

I agree and just think of how long these energy forms had to evolve here and in the universe. What if they can group and evolve to have some sort of hive consciousness. It could be that science has discovered the building blocks of the energy beings that mystics have claimed have been with us since the dawn of mankind. Life like this would also explain some mysteries of astrophysics where there's an unexplainable loss of electrons in certain parts of space.

Science will have to come up with a new definition with what constitutes a discovery of alien life when exploring other planets.The diversity of forms of life are more extreme then the biological forms they are generally seeking to discover now.

Edited by White Unicorn

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That is shocking news...

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STICK an electrode in the ground, pump electrons down it, and they will come: living cells that eat electricity. We have known bacteria to survive on a variety of energy sources, but none as weird as this. Think of Frankenstein's monster, brought to life by galvanic energy, except these "electric bacteria" are very real and are popping up all over the place.

http://www.newscient...ml#.U8phHUCg4dX

From OP Link:

dn25894-2_300.jpg

Geobacter – a current favourite (Image: Derek Lovley/SPL)

A current (electric current) favorite? Someone has a sense of humor at New Scientist.

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Posted (edited)

If these are entirely fed by electricity, then where does the mass come from to reproduce? I'm guessing that these little guys can live of the electricity alone, but need physical food in order to heal/grow/reproduce.

From OP Link:

may be the most convincing example we have so far of electricity eaters grown on a supply of electrons with no added food.

Wouldn't that imply that the mass needed to grow the creatures would have to be created from the electricity? I find it hard to believe that these little guys are converting electricity directly into matter.

Edited by DieChecker

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If these are entirely fed by electricity, then where does the mass come from to reproduce? I'm guessing that these little guys can live of the electricity alone, but need physical food in order to heal/grow/reproduce.

From OP Link:

[/size]

Wouldn't that imply that the mass needed to grow the creatures would have to be created from the electricity? I find it hard to believe that these little guys are converting electricity directly into matter.

It wouldn't really be as impossible as it sounds when you think about matter at an atomic level. What is matter but a lasting relationship or unity of charged particles which form an apparently solid mass. Higher levels of energy such as x rays etc can pass through solid without changing the form, so at that level of energy, the solid form is an illusion. The electromagnetic force of the particles of a solid keep other solids from passing because there's sort of a force field that deflect other solids from penetrating like material, but higher levels of energies can pass. The solidity of matter is relative to our perceptions especially since we focus on our solid body more then say the very small electric part of us produced that lets neurons communicate from our brain. Our biology can change matter into energy. Why not another form of life doing the opposite? Water can be vapor, ice, or liquid but its actually the same thing in different enviromental conditions. It appears to be a very complex relationship of energy to matter and matter to energy but if you think of it as one process of energy changing form it isn't as difficult.

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It wouldn't really be as impossible as it sounds when you think about matter at an atomic level. What is matter but a lasting relationship or unity of charged particles which form an apparently solid mass. Higher levels of energy such as x rays etc can pass through solid without changing the form, so at that level of energy, the solid form is an illusion. The electromagnetic force of the particles of a solid keep other solids from passing because there's sort of a force field that deflect other solids from penetrating like material, but higher levels of energies can pass. The solidity of matter is relative to our perceptions especially since we focus on our solid body more then say the very small electric part of us produced that lets neurons communicate from our brain. Our biology can change matter into energy. Why not another form of life doing the opposite? Water can be vapor, ice, or liquid but its actually the same thing in different enviromental conditions. It appears to be a very complex relationship of energy to matter and matter to energy but if you think of it as one process of energy changing form it isn't as difficult.

Still matter is not made up of electrons alone. Unless these microbes can convert electrons into protons?

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Still matter is not made up of electrons alone. Unless these microbes can convert electrons into protons?

This is very true :) I think that there is much more involved in the processes and a complexity of things we haven't discovered yet. I think this is a great discovery which will lead us to understand many processes of life that science has overlooked. Researchers will be lead to look where they didn't think of looking before. I believe there are more symbiotic relationships between life forms and even between energy and biological life forms than currently realized. An example, medical research is just starting to study the ecosystems involved within the human body, which in order to survive we are very dependent on the symbiotic relationships to bacterias and even viruses. The discovery of these amazing little life form processes will spark research to look for other energy life processes and I bet that will lead to revelational discoveries in the matter energy processes of life itself.

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It's mind blowing how versatile life is... I love this kind of news, thanks for bringing the article to our attention.

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This is very true :) I think that there is much more involved in the processes and a complexity of things we haven't discovered yet. I think this is a great discovery which will lead us to understand many processes of life that science has overlooked. Researchers will be lead to look where they didn't think of looking before. I believe there are more symbiotic relationships between life forms and even between energy and biological life forms than currently realized. An example, medical research is just starting to study the ecosystems involved within the human body, which in order to survive we are very dependent on the symbiotic relationships to bacterias and even viruses. The discovery of these amazing little life form processes will spark research to look for other energy life processes and I bet that will lead to revelational discoveries in the matter energy processes of life itself.

I agree it will be interesting to learn more about how these microorganisms metabolism works. :tu:

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I'm genuinely fascinated by this.

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Posted (edited)

This is a perfect example of something that I would have considered completely improbable based on everything I knew about energy consumption by living creatures, only to find that it was totally possible without the need to add anything to my previous knowledge, except to think of the data in a different way.

The only other time this occurred to me was when the WTC towers collapsed and I was telling myself that there was no way a mere aircraft collision would have resulted in a total failure, only to realize that my conclusion, while valid, was not correct simply due to how I was thinking about the problem.

Edited by aquatus1
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Considering how many lightning strikes occur worldwide every single day of the year (by some estimates as many as 86 million times per day!), I wonder if these organisms also live in the upper atmosphere, blown by the winds and living off the electrical energy in the storm clouds? And if so, what if any part to they play in the earth's food chain?

If we find them in the atmosphere of Earth, perhaps similar organisms exist on the giant gas planets which also have lightning.

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It certainly gives a bit more credence to the idea of "star jelly" being the remnants of Bradbury's sky jellyfish.

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I have always entertained the notion that life really began deep within the Earth. Now I can't help but start considering whether it may have begun high in the atmosphere.

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This is exciting news. These life forms are possibly the most abundant type in our universe. :tu:

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And perhaps the oldest.

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Is it April fools day? This is an awesome discovery! Extremeophiles to the max. I love it!

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