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Thread: Nasa to make announcement about possible ET life find on Thursday

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    Re: NASA to announce "major discovery" that could boost chances of life on other worl

    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Spiker View Post
    Cool - but I'm not confused.

    Didn't they have a revelation when they discovered bacteria that thrived without oxygen?
    As well as microbes and sea-cumbers that reveled in heat vents and plumes on the ocean floor?
    They have known of bacteria that lives without oxygen for a long time. bacteria that live in anoxic (oxygen free or oxygen starved) regions are critical to the nitrogen cycle (denitrifying bacteria that converts nitrates into nitrogen gas) . The life in and around the oceanic plumes (as well as sulfur consuming cave bacteria) are significant because they depend ob a source of energy independent of the sun and photosynthesis.
    Last edited by marduc; 12-01-10 at 09:56 PM.
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    Re: NASA to announce "major discovery" that could boost chances of life on other worl

    Quote Originally Posted by marduc View Post
    They have known of bacteria that lives without oxygen for a long time. bacteria that live in anoxic (oxygen free or oxygen starved) regions are critical to the nitrogen cycle. The life in and around the oceanic plumes (as well as sulfur consuming cave bacteria) are significant because they depend ob a source of energy independent of the sun and photosynthesis.
    So I take it an arsenic-dependent (or based?) lifeform would be *so much more different* because arsenic is usually toxic to all these aforementioned forms of life?

    Then why is it in apple seeds?

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    Re: NASA to announce "major discovery" that could boost chances of life on other worl

    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Spiker View Post
    Cool - but I'm not confused.

    Didn't they have a revelation when they discovered bacteria that thrived without oxygen?
    As well as microbes and sea-cumbers that reveled in heat vents and plumes on the ocean floor?
    The main difference if what Khandahar is saying is correct

    the phosphorus atoms is a fundamental part of our DNA, being part of each of base pairs

    That phosphorus atom has been replaced by arsenic a whole different atom, with different chemical charateristics

    While not as fundamental difference in replacing carbon

    I dont know if the other microbes and sea cucumbers have replace phosphorus with a different atom though
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    Re: NASA to announce "major discovery" that could boost chances of life on other worl

    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Spiker View Post
    So I take it an arsenic-dependent (or based?) lifeform would be *so much more different* because arsenic is usually toxic to all these aforementioned forms of life?
    thats a good part of it. all previously known life uses phosphorus (which is chemically very similar to arsenic). Arsenic reacts in much the same way as phosphorus because it is in the same periodic group (well the reason is deeper than this, but it works for this discussion). This rewrites the biochemistry books, and significantly broadens the potential for life in environments previously not considered.

    Then why is it in apple seeds?

    (unabashedly ignorant of the whole subject)


    It is in your water and your body and your hair too (in trace amounts..unless someone has been spiking your meals with it). However it would wreak havoc with our cellular function, it is still a poison to us and to the apple tree, and <now virtually> all known lifeforms.
    Last edited by marduc; 12-01-10 at 09:55 PM.
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    Re: NASA to announce "major discovery" that could boost chances of life on other worl

    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Spiker View Post
    So I take it an arsenic-dependent (or based?) lifeform would be *so much more different* because arsenic is usually toxic to all these aforementioned forms of life?

    Then why is it in apple seeds?

    (unabashedly ignorant of the whole subject)
    They take up arsenic into the plant material like they do iron and other minerals, some are used for biological functions (iron in blood for instance) but others are just taken up as the plant takes up water,
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    Re: NASA to announce "major discovery" that could boost chances of life on other worl

    Ok - I've reread and read these posts again and now I get it. . . thanks for explaining it

    Neat, hunh?

    New findings always makes me wonder just what else we don't know.
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    Re: Nasa to make announcement about possible ET life find on Thursday

    There are two threads on this subject. Shame most posters don't visit this forum more often.

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    Re: NASA to announce "major discovery" that could boost chances of life on other worl

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I think that if they do indeed announce that arsenic-based life is here on earth, it probably REDUCES the likelihood that life came to earth from space, because it means that abiogenesis isn't really that unusual.
    Incorrect. Arsenic life does not provide evidence of a second instance of abiogenesis.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Lewis Dartnell, an astrobiologist at University College London
    “I would be really surprised if the bugs they’ve isolated actually incorporate arsenic into any of their key biomolecules as a substitute for phosphorus (in, for example, DNA or ATP) – I suspect that what they’ve got is a bug that is simply tolerant to the high arsenic concentrations, or possibly uses it somehow in its metabolism.”

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    Re: NASA to announce "major discovery" that could boost chances of life on other worl

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Incognito View Post
    Incorrect. Arsenic life does not provide evidence of a second instance of abiogenesis.
    That's not as cool. Therefore I choose to disbelieve it.
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    Re: NASA to announce "major discovery" that could boost chances of life on other worl

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Incognito View Post
    Incorrect. Arsenic life does not provide evidence of a second instance of abiogenesis.
    Arsenic life opens up the possibility of an entirely different form of life being extant throughout the galaxy, thus increasing the likelihood that life is abundant, everywhere.

    'Life as we don't know it' discovery could prove existence of aliens - Telegraph
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