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NASA Finds Arsenic Based Life

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http://www.nasa.gov/topics/universe/features/astrobiology_toxic_chemical.html

"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?"

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interesting to say the least.

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Life is amazing....life that can breathe arsenic is amazing. The first crazy thought I had was cancer research.

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So I was right back in High School that not all life needs oxygen.

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So I was right back in High School that not all life needs oxygen.

Well if you consider plants life, the world has known that for awhile.

plants do use oxygen, just not as much as they produce...

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So I was right back in High School that not all life needs oxygen.

you mean phosphorus?

Heck I dont know. I'm old and dont remember alot of that stuff. ;D

I was meaning more of an organism using some other material besides what our known life uses.

Take humans for instance. We breath air(obviously) 21% O2 79% N respectively. Why does another organism be required to use that. My main point back then was they were using a closed mind. What was proven fact years ago changes over time with technology and more research. Lets just hope its non bias research.

Like the whole Alien life form deal.  i dont know if there is or not.  Is it a possibility,  sure,  do I believe in them.  Na, not till I meet one. ;D  Why does a life form have to have the same gases we use to survive.  The very life for could be programed to use the abundant gases on that planet to metabolize as we do with our abundant gases.

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Well we use O2 as a final electron acceptor.  For you non science guys: Our energy(ATP) production is limited by the amount of oxygen we have.  It's mainly used in metabolism pathways.

The reason why this is just ridiculously awesome is that the bacterium is actually building its cellular structure using this stuff.  Organisms usually use sugars and phosphates to construct a majority of their DNA, but this thing is using arsenic.  I guess it's chemically possible, but it still blows my mind.

I love science.  :)

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I was meaning more of an organism using some other material besides what our known life uses.

hey, if they can swap phosphorus for arsenic, whos to say they cant find an alternative to oxygen?

apparently you'd need an element very similar to oxygen, not sure if one exists. anybody still in school?

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