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Author Topic: Alien life form confirmed?  (Read 1371 times)

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Max_Power

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Alien life form confirmed?
« on: December 02, 2010, 09:13:04 PM »
http://gizmodo.com/5704158/nasa-finds-new-life
Quote
NASA has discovered a new life form—called GFAJ-1—that doesn't share the biological building blocks of anything currently living in planet Earth, using arsenic to build its DNA, RNA, proteins, and cell membranes. This changes everything. Updating live.

NASA is saying that this is "life as we do not know it". The reason is that all life on Earth is made of six components: Carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur. Every being, from the smallest amoeba to the largest whale, share the same life stream. Our DNA blocks are all the same. NASA scientist Felisa Wolfe Simon and her team have found a bacteria whose DNA is completely alien to what we know today. Instead of using phosphorus, the newly discovered microorganism—called GFAJ-1—uses the poisonous arsenic for its building blocks.

The new life forms up close, at five micrometers.

According to Felisa:

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. 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.
The implications of this discovery are enormous to our understanding of life itself and the possibility of finding beings in other planets that don't have to be like planet Earth. Like NASA's Ed Weiler says: "The definition of life has just expanded. 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."

Talking at the NASA conference, Wolfe Simon said that the important thing here is that this breaks our ideas on how life can be created and grow, pointing out that scientists will now be looking for new types of beings and metabolism that not only uses arsenic, but other element substitutions.

NASA's geobiologist Pamela Conrad thinks that the discovery is "phenomenal," comparing it to the Star Trek episode in which the Enterprise crew finds Horta, a silicon-based alien life form. Indeed, NASA is saying that this discovery "will change how we search for life elsewhere in the Universe."

Even closer, showing their internal structure.

While this new life form hasn't been found in another planet, this discovery does indeed change everything we know about biology. I don't know about you but I've not been so excited about a bacteria since my STD tests came back clean. And that's without counting yesterday's announcement on the discovery of a massive number of red dwarf stars, which may harbor a trillion Earths, dramatically increasing our chances of finding extraterrestrial life.

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Johan!

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Re: Alien life form confirmed?
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2010, 01:58:55 PM »
Nothing confirmed yet, but I guess it's a matter of time. 

jplpool

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Re: Alien life form confirmed?
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2010, 03:25:50 PM »
It's already confirmed. Alien & Extra-Terrestial mean 2 different things.
I hope, I do not wait.

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SoulMonster

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Re: Alien life form confirmed?
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2010, 05:56:23 PM »
It's "alien" in the meaning that it is weird and unlike what is known from before, it is NOT alien in the meaning that its origin is not Earth.

I am still waiting to read the full research paper on this. Does it contain phosporous at all or is just the phosphorous in some molecules exchanged with arsenic? If all phosphorous atoms are exchanged with arsenic atoms then these organism may very well be a relic from a time when living cells on Earth were recent, because this would imply that it's DNA is different from the DNA of all other known organisms.

EDIT: I just read the first post and it really looks like the phosphate groups in its nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) are exchanged with AsO4-groups (?).

EDIT 2: And by reading a little bit on the Net I find that only parts of its phosphorous are exchanged with arsenic.

Still, very interesting data for us interested in astrobiology and the evolution of life on Earth.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2010, 06:01:23 PM by SoulMonster »

rocknroll41

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Re: Alien life form confirmed?
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2010, 07:51:55 PM »
IDK if this has anything to do with ETs being out there, but the UN did add a delegate responisble for ET communication. That looks like some kind of hint to me  :?:
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Max_Power

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Re: Alien life form confirmed?
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2010, 09:29:22 PM »
It's already confirmed. Alien & Extra-Terrestial mean 2 different things.

I just copied the title off an article i read, don't blame me for false advertising  :ninja:
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russkwtx

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Re: Alien life form confirmed?
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2010, 07:30:57 AM »
Didn't they confirm the possible existence of bacteria or something like that?
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Re: Alien life form confirmed?
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2010, 06:58:45 AM »
confirmed...

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