Well, has NASA discovered E.T.? The short answer is no, but they did discover something that will be a game-changer regarding how we consider what “life” consists of.
Scientists have defined the building blocks of life to be carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, phosphorus, oxygen and sulfur. These are all integral parts of our DNA and RNA. But, researchers in Mono Lake, California have discovered a microorganism that uses arsenic to thrive and reproduce. This changes the assumption that has been made concerning where and how life can exist—here and throughout the universe.
Arsenic, which is considered poisonous, behaves chemically similar to phosphate. The organisms pictured above have made this substitution. In simple terms, NASA has proven what many Science Fiction authors have already taken the liberty to assert: life can be made with components different than our current assumptions.
In short, consider our previous limited criterion regarding the search for terrestrial and extraterrestrial life officially expanded.
- Has NASA discovered extraterrestrial life? (sixshadesofcool.com)
- NASA find new lifeform: arsenic microbe widens likelihood of extraterrestrial life (slashgear.com)
- NASA discovers new bacteria that changes our understanding of how life could evolve on other planets (geek.com)