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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 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 (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.
    I'm impressed Marduc!

    I'm presently trying to get the nitrobactors (aerobic) going on my rotating biofilter contact plates so I can add some fish to my 500 gallon system. Little critters don't multiply as fast as heterotrophs so I have to be patient. The nitrosomonas have just about got the ammonia down to zero though.

    For those of you that have aquariums this is called "cycling" the tank.

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

    Anybody know where the arsenic-based life rumor came from? Their press conference text doesn't seem to support it

    NASA will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. EST on Thursday, Dec. 2, to discuss an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life. Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life in the universe.
    If they found non-phosphorus-based life here on earth, its impact on astrobiology would be rather indirect. It would be odd to tout the finding of a radically new terrestrial life form as "an astrobiology finding" and there would be a great deal of more important applications than the search for extraterrestrial life. I'm getting more skeptical that the rumor mill is on target
    Last edited by Kernel Sanders; 12-02-10 at 12:35 AM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Kernel Sanders View Post
    Anybody know where the arsenic-based life rumor came from? Their press conference text doesn't seem to support it



    If they found non-carbon-based life here on earth, its impact on astrobiology would be rather indirect. It would be odd to tout the finding of a radically new terrestrial life form as "an astrobiology finding" and there would be a great deal of more important applications than the search for extraterrestrial life. I'm getting more skeptical that the rumor mill is on target
    The Telegraph confirmed it a few hours ago. NASA apparently released an overview to several media sources earlier today, but asked them not to break the story until a specified time. Additionally, the cast of speakers that NASA has lined up for the press conference tomorrow seems to suggest that, at the very least, it is SOMETHING related to life forms living in Mono Lake in Yosemite National Park that have some sort of unique relationship with arsenic.

    There might be many applications to fields unrelated to astrobiology; only time will tell. But since NASA is the one backing this research, it's their story to break and obviously they're going to play up the aspects of the story that are most relevant and interesting to them.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 12-02-10 at 12:39 AM.
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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
    The Telegraph confirmed it a few hours ago. NASA apparently released an overview to several media sources earlier today, but asked them not to break the story until a specified time. Additionally, the cast of speakers that NASA has lined up for the press conference tomorrow seems to suggest that, at the very least, it is something related to life forms living in Mono Lake in Yosemite National Park that have some sort of unique relationship with arsenic.

    There might be many applications to fields unrelated to astrobiology; only time will tell. But since NASA is the one backing this research, it's their story to break and obviously they're going to play up the aspects of the story that are most relevant and interesting to them.
    From the telegraph article (this one?) it sounds like they found an extremophile that uses arsenate groups rather than the phosphate groups found in ATP. It doesn't sound like a second instance of abiogenesis, or even a different type of DNA/RNA. I'm hoping for NASA's sake that there's something substantial yet to be revealed linking this discovery to astrobiology. While the finding of an extremophile with such a fundamentally different metabolism would be very interesting, calling it "an astrobiology finding" is a stretch and reeks of headline-grabbing sensationalism.

    Still, I think I'll hold my judgement until after the press conference

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray_Fox_86 View Post
    There are two threads on this subject. Shame most posters don't visit this forum more often.
    You mean don't visit this category more often? I posted it here first and it seemed Science was the right category.

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

    I have been checking BBC world news and have found nothing yet.
    "If religious instruction were not allowed until the child had attained the age of reason, we would be living in quite a different world" - Christopher Hitchens
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    Re: NASA to announce "major discovery" that could boost chances of life on other worl

    Awesome! If there is indeed arsenic based lifeforms on this planet that means the formation of living organisms has occurred not once but twice on planet Earth! If it happens twice on Earth then you sure as hell can take it to the bank that life is not an uncommon thing to be found in the universe.
    I use a lot of satire and sarcasm so keep that in mind when reading my posts.

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

    This story does raise a lot of questions:

    How is this different from the bacteria around hydrothermal vents in the ocean that use hydrogen sulfide for energy?

    The most prevalent chemical dissolved in vent water is hydrogen sulfide, which smells like rotten eggs. This chemical is produced when seawater reacts with sulfate in the rocks below the ocean floor. Vent bacteria use hydrogen sulfide as their energy source instead of sunlight. The bacteria in turn sustain larger organisms in the vent community.
    And, life uses phosphorus as energy? I thought life as we know it used glucose, derived directly or indirectly from sunlight.

    Are these bacteria arsenic based rather than carbon based? If that's the case, then they are different from anything else we know.

    All interesting questions, and all related to questions about how life began, and whether and in what form it exists elsewhere in the universe.
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    Re: NASA to announce "major discovery" that could boost chances of life on other worl

    I posted this link on a sports forum, already has the Christians raging!

    It was not my intent either, I just posted the link.
    I use a lot of satire and sarcasm so keep that in mind when reading my posts.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by BCR View Post
    I posted this link on a sports forum, already has the Christians raging!

    It was not my intent either, I just posted the link.
    Those who appose science, appose reality!
    "If religious instruction were not allowed until the child had attained the age of reason, we would be living in quite a different world" - Christopher Hitchens
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