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NASA confirms arsenic based life

Posted on Friday, 3 December, 2010 | Comment icon 260 comments | News tip by: Nareik616

Image credit: NASA

"The definition of life has just expanded" - NASA has discovered an organism on Earth based on arsenic.

The eagerly anticipated announcement was not about the discovery of alien life but it is groundbreaking all the same, the discovery opens the door to finding life outside of the Earth in environments previously believed to be uninhabitable.

"NASA-funded astrobiology research has changed the fundamental knowledge about what comprises all known life on Earth."

  View: Full article |  Source: NASA

  Discuss: View comments (260)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #251 Posted by Copasetic on 7 December, 2010, 23:30
Comment icon #252 Posted by electro13 on 20 December, 2010, 0:10
You don't need to go to university for 50yrs to know the universe is crawling with life. Probably an infinite variety too throughout eternity. It's just common sense. So Heeey, good on the scientists for attemting to break through their own dogmas on this one.
Comment icon #253 Posted by badeskov on 20 December, 2010, 0:14
Really? Can you point me to anybody that really knows? I know of plenty of people that think they know, but the difference is both distinct and important. But I know nobody that knows. Cheers, Badeskov
Comment icon #254 Posted by electro13 on 20 December, 2010, 0:27
That's because ppl who know are rare.Whitley Streiber, the guy who wrote Communion, he knows. Anyway,through weighing up the mountain of evidence, the pro's and the con's, by trusting your own observations of life and having a bit of an understanding about the vast possibilities and immensity of this universe, even if you've never met an alien, youd have to admit they exist. And if they exist, it only stands to reason that some of them already know we're here.
Comment icon #255 Posted by booNyzarC on 20 December, 2010, 1:13
Whitley Strieber knows? Are you so sure? Tell me then, friend, why in the world would he have written ? You do realize that before his books about abduction experiences he was a fiction writer, right? A struggling fiction writer at that. What does a talented writer in need of a financial boost do anyway? Well, he keeps writing. The last fiction novel not doing so well? Maybe we need a new spin on things? And honestly, this "mountain of evidence" that you are talking about crumbles away into an inconsequential hill when it is put under the eye of scrutiny. If it was s... [More]
Comment icon #256 Posted by electro13 on 20 December, 2010, 1:55
Thnx booNyzarC for trying to illuminate me, but who better to describe ones own xperience in detail and with clarity than a writer himself? Dr Carl Sagan wrote fiction but I don't hear anyone discrediting his observations. W.Streibers motives for writing about this were to raise real awareness in th hope that th scientific comunity may take it seriously, and thereby provide answers to those who are going thru th same thing. True, th mountain of evidence does crumble away - to reveal a core reality that should not be ignored so easily. To cut a long story short, W.Streiber is a very courage... [More]
Comment icon #257 Posted by booNyzarC on 20 December, 2010, 3:23
Loosely quoted: Carl Sagan was an astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, author and highly successful science popularizer and science communicator in the space and natural sciences. During his lifetime, he published more than 600 scientific papers and popular articles and was author, co-author, or editor of more than 20 books. In his works, he advocated skeptical inquiry and the scientific method. He pioneered exobiology and promoted the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI). How exactly can you compare the greatness of Carl Sagan with the likes of Whitley Strieber? Speakin... [More]
Comment icon #258 Posted by Hazzard on 20 December, 2010, 9:22
Willful Ignorance -- A bad faith decision to avoid becoming informed about something so as to avoid having to make undesirable decisions that such information might prompt.
Comment icon #259 Posted by 747400 on 20 December, 2010, 10:28
Personally, i'd say it seems quite a fair assumption, that the universe may indeed be teeming with life, but it can only be an assumption until - and I think this is what we ought to do - we concentrate on seriously studying other planets- not just Mars (which, although it's relatively easy to get to, is probably not (now, although it may have been once) conducive to life). And Venus as well, and even Jupiter if we're likely to be able to get there in a reasonable length of time. Places that we've always considered the idea of life of some sort would be absolutely ludicruous;... [More]
Comment icon #260 Posted by lost_shaman on 20 December, 2010, 17:57
Wolfe-Simon et. al., have posted a "response to questions" regarding their recent paper. Response to Questions Concerning the Science Article, “A Bacterium That Can Grow by Using Arsenic Instead of Phosphorus” -As of December 16, 2010-

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