NASA Announcement: It’s Life But Not As We Know It!

NASA Announcement: It’s Life But Not As We Know It! December 2, 2010

Via Tobias Buckell, I learned that Gizmodo has apparently found out what the big news is that NASA will hold a press conference about later today. Apparently a form of extremophile bacteria has been discovered on Earth which has a different chemical make-up to it’s DNA than all other known forms of life on this planet.

It isn’t extraterrestrial life, but it does suggest that Star Trek is right that we need to cast our net more widely than “life as we know it” as we undertake that search.

UPDATE: Apparently the British newspaper The Sun broke the news yesterday. This second form of terrestrial life was found in a California lake with high concentrations of arsenic, and actually uses arsenic in its composition where all other known living things on the planet use phosphorous.

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  • The Sun is not a newspaper. It is a tabloid. Until the findings are published in a Journal I shall go with the AAAS: [there has been] "mostly erroneous online and/or tabloid speculation about the forthcoming research… These reports clearly are not based on the peer-reviewed research being published under the auspices of the journal Science"

  • Indeed, I should have said "tabloid" and not merely "newspaper." One reason I added the update it because, if The Sun is the source of the leaked news that others are reporting, that casts serious doubt on the reliability of what we're hearing.We should know one way or the other this afternoon!