Home » BLOG »FRONT PAGE » Currently Reading:

New Life on Earth

December 2, 2010 BLOG, FRONT PAGE No Comments

It has been confirmed that a micro-organism that thrives in the toxic chemical Arsenic has been discovered in Mono Lake of California. The micro-organisms DNA is Arsenic based, which is vastly different from the phosphorous based DNA that every other being on Earth has.

The news heralds in the knowledge that life can start in more ways than we think, and hopefully open the eyes of future explorers to have an open mind when looking for other inhabited worlds.

Researchers conducting tests in the harsh environment of Mono Lake in California have discovered the first known microorganism on Earth able to thrive and reproduce using the toxic chemical arsenic. The microorganism substitutes arsenic for phosphorus in its cell components.

“The definition of life has just expanded,” said Ed Weiler, NASA’s associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at the agency’s Headquarters in Washington. “As we pursue our efforts to seek signs of life in the solar system, we have to think more broadly, more diversely and consider life as we do not know it.”

“We know that some microbes can breathe arsenic, but what we’ve found is a microbe doing something new — building parts of itself out of arsenic,” said Felisa Wolfe-Simon, a NASA Astrobiology Research Fellow in residence at the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, Calif., and the research team’s lead scientist. “If something here on Earth can do something so unexpected, what else can life do that we haven’t seen yet?”

The newly discovered microbe, strain GFAJ-1, is a member of a common group of bacteria, the Gammaproteobacteria. In the laboratory, the researchers successfully grew microbes from the lake on a diet that was very lean on phosphorus, but included generous helpings of arsenic. When researchers removed the phosphorus and replaced it with arsenic the microbes continued to grow. Subsequent analyses indicated that the arsenic was being used to produce the building blocks of new GFAJ-1 cells.

To read more about the discovery visit Nasa’s Website

Here are some pictures of the new life-forms home.

Comment on this Article:

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Become our friend on Facebook!

Featured Videos

Press Line Interview with the stars and director of “Hanna”

Saoirse Ronan

Red Carpet interviews with Eric Bana, Joe Wright, and Saoirse Ronan of the film “Hanna”.

Headstache Covers Comic Con: Memorabilia

wolverine

Headstache.com checked out a whole mess of collectibles, memorabilia, and other cool stuff at this year’s Comic Con.

Headstache Covers Comic Con: Movies

comic_con_movies_thumb

Headstache Comic Con series with Movies. Headstache.com check out the new Green Hornet flick, Warhammer, and more.

Headstache Covers Comic Con: Video Games

comicon_videogame_feature_thumb

Join Headstache.com as we tour the floors of Comic Con and speaks to some pretty crazy kiddos. Part 1, the video game edition!

Related Videos

Interstellar Marines – Will you believe?

interstellar marines laboratories

Interstellar Marines is a first-person shooter video game developed by Independent studio Zero Point Software.

(No Comments)

New Trend – Mirror filter while driving through city

This incredible video from Japan named, Tokyo Sky Drive, is edited with a mirror filter which flips the mirrored image of the video to create a most surreal effect

(No Comments)

Headstache Covers Comic Con: Memorabilia

wolverine

Headstache.com checked out a whole mess of collectibles, memorabilia, and other cool stuff at this year’s Comic Con.

(No Comments)