NASA announces discovery of alien microbe

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  1. #1
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    NASA announces discovery of alien microbe






    NASA announced Thursday it has discovered alien life - in California, natch.

    In a bombshell that upends long-held assumptions about the basic building blocks of life, scientists have discovered a a whole new type of creature: a microbe that lives on arsenic.

    It is unlike every other lifeform on the planet - from the simplest plant to the most complex mammal.

    "It's terrestrial life - but not life as we know it," said Mary Voytek, director of NASA's astrobiology program.

    All life so far discovered by scientists is composed of combinations of the same six elements: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur and phosphorus.

    But Felisa Wolfe-Simon, a scientist at Arizona State University's School of Earth and Space Exploration, found a strain of Halomonadaceae bacteria on the bottom of California's volcanic Mono Lake that lives without any phosphorus.

    Instead, it uses arsenic to build cells. On its DNA strand, where phosphorus should be, is instead arsenic.

    The implications are profound. Astrobiologists looking for life on other planets may be able to vastly expand their search to places with non-Earth environments.

    "We've cracked open the door to what's possible for life elsewhere in the universe," said Wolfe-Simon. "What else might we find?"

    NASA planetary scientist Pamela Conrad said "the implication is that we still don't know everything there is to know about what might make a planet habitable."

    ASU professor James Elser called the finding "shocking," noting ruefully that he has been telling his classes for decades that all life needs phosphorus.

    "It really is quite a remarkable report," he said.

    hkennedy@nydailynews.com



    Read more: NASA announces discovery of alien microbe that lives on arsenic in California's volcanic Mono Lake

  2. #2
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    Wasn't that part of the plot of Evolution with David Duchovny? Since they were tolerant of arsenic they found that selenium was poisonous to it, so they killed it with Head and Shoulders, the active ingredient being Selenium .......
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    but oh they have yet to be experienced and that makes aging so very worth it...ML circa2012

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    Can I find these microbes in my grocer's freezer?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 240PLUS View Post
    Can I find these microbes in my grocer's freezer?
    Nope, they are in roids trunks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by min0 lee View Post
    Nope, they are in roids trunks.
    a place only a very lowly evolved alien life form could survive in
    Quote Originally Posted by LAM View Post
    Sheep get their news from the media, I get my news from Facebook. That's where the real unbiased news is found. any everyone from IM that is friends with me on FB knows this.

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    This is a news website article about a scientific paper by Martin Robbins

    In the standfirst I will make a fairly obvious pun about the subject matter before posing an inane question I have no intention of really answering: is this an important scientific finding?


    In this paragraph I will state the main claim that the research makes, making appropriate use of "scare quotes" to ensure that it's clear that I have no opinion about this research whatsoever.

    In this paragraph I will briefly (because no paragraph should be more than one line) state which existing scientific ideas this new research "challenges".

    If the research is about a potential cure, or a solution to a problem, this paragraph will describe how it will raise hopes for a group of sufferers or victims.

    This paragraph elaborates on the claim, adding weasel-words like "the scientists say" to shift responsibility for establishing the likely truth or accuracy of the research findings on to absolutely anybody else but me, the journalist.

    In this paragraph I will state in which journal the research will be published. I won't provide a link because either a) the concept of adding links to web pages is alien to the editors, b) I can't be bothered, or c) the journal inexplicably set the embargo on the press release to expire before the paper was actually published.

    "Basically, this is a brief soundbite," the scientist will say, from a department and university that I will give brief credit to. "The existing science is a bit dodgy, whereas my conclusion seems bang on," she or he will continue.

    I will then briefly state how many years the scientist spent leading the study, to reinforce the fact that this is a serious study and worthy of being published by the BBC the website.

    This is a sub-heading that gives the impression I am about to add useful context.

    Here I will state that whatever was being researched was first discovered in some year, presenting a vague timeline in a token gesture toward establishing context for the reader.

    To pad out this section I will include a variety of inane facts about the subject of the research that I gathered by Googling the topic and reading the Wikipedia article that appeared as the first link.

    I will preface them with "it is believed" or "scientists think" to avoid giving the impression of passing any sort of personal judgement on even the most inane facts.

    This fragment will be put on its own line for no obvious reason.

    In this paragraph I will reference or quote some minor celebrity, historical figure, eccentric, or a group of sufferers; because my editors are ideologically committed to the idea that all news stories need a "human interest", and I'm not convinced that the scientists are interesting enough.

    This subheading hints at controversy with a curt phrase and a question mark?
    This paragraph will explain that while some scientists believe one thing to be true, other people believe another, different thing to be true.

    In this paragraph I will provide balance with a quote from another scientist in the field. Since I picked their name at random from a Google search, and since the research probably hasn't even been published yet for them to see it, their response to my e-mail will be bland and non-committal.

    "The research is useful", they will say, "and gives us new information. However, we need more research before we can say if the conclusions are correct, so I would advise caution for now."

    If the subject is politically sensitive this paragraph will contain quotes from some fringe special interest group of people who, though having no apparent understanding of the subject, help to give the impression that genuine public "controversy" exists.

    This paragraph will provide more comments from the author restating their beliefs about the research by basically repeating the same stuff they said in the earlier quotes but with slightly different words. They won't address any of the criticisms above because I only had time to send out one round of e-mails.

    This paragraph contained useful information or context, but was removed by the sub-editor to keep the article within an arbitrary word limit in case the internet runs out of space.

    The final paragraph will state that some part of the result is still ambiguous, and that research will continue.

    Related Links:

    The Journal (not the actual paper, we don't link to papers).

    The University Home Page (finding the researcher's page would be too much effort).

    Unrelated story from 2007 matched by keyword analysis.

    Special interest group linked to for balance.
    Coarse edged youth, the irish pendants string from their smiles
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    eyes of tranquilty, crystalline-beads
    no sign of despair in their hair, nor their hearts
    but oh they have yet to be experienced and that makes aging so very worth it...ML circa2012

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    Quote Originally Posted by LAM View Post
    Sheep get their news from the media, I get my news from Facebook. That's where the real unbiased news is found. any everyone from IM that is friends with me on FB knows this.

  9. #9
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    I welcome our arsenic-based overlords. ALL HAIL THE ARSENICS!

  10. #10
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    I must admit, I believe there is other life and that it may or maynot be of this planet.


    my opinion
    Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but Cabbage with a College Education.

  11. #11
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    The earth has been around for 6-8 thousand years, so it's possible that there are microbes that haven't been discovered yet.

    Funny thing is, it doesn't say if these alien microbiota are legal or illegal aliens. Fukkin media.
    Last edited by GearsMcGilf; 12-05-2010 at 10:48 PM.

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