NASA Announces Existence Of Bacteria Thriving On Arsenic

December 3rd, 2010 - 7:10 pm ICT by GD  

By Meena Kar
lakeDec 3, (THAINDIAN NEWS) In the past few days, NASA has been keeping everyone in anxiety as it gave a hint about the existence of extra-terrestrial life. The space agency said earlier this week that it has got hints of astro-biological findings, that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life. Although not much has been revealed about this issue yet, the space agency has come up with an announcement on Thursday that dealt with the discovery of arsenic-based life forms on Earth.

They said, that every organism that exists on earth, has a genetic composition of six important elements including phosphorus. However, the latest discovery has got hold of a particular type of bacteria, that replaced phosphorus into the element arsenic. This discovery has led to several questions like whether a new line of earthly life has been found. Felisa Wolfe-Simon, a NASA biochemist said that life can be more flexible than what we can assume or imagine. This new form of bacteria has been located in Mono Lake, California. Wolfe-Simon conducted a research to see whether arsenic-filled Mono Lake naturally uses arsenic for its regular cellular functions or it replaces phosphorus with arsenic. Her experiment resulted to the conclusion that some of these bacteria have arsenic embedded into their DNA, RNA.

Mary Voytek, senior scientist for NASA’s program in astro-biology said that this is rather different from anything that they have seen before. However, this discovery states that there is an existence of a shadow biosphere. They could not yet conclude whether arsenic replaced phosphorus or if it was there from the very beginning.

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