Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: NASA announces aresnic based life forms

  1. #1
    Senior Member Toad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Minot, ND
    Posts
    1,408
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default NASA announces aresnic based life forms

    http://skymania.com/wp/2010/11/alien...on-earth.html/

    Alien life form ‘is here on Earth’

    Posted on November 30th, 2010

    NASA scientists will announce a major discovery this Thursday that could boost the chance of life on other worlds. Experts believe they will say they have found a new form of life on Earth that is completely alien to anything known before.
    NASA, who have called a full scale press conference for tomorrow, have tried to keep their findings under wraps, though an accompanying scientific paper has been released to some journalists under embargo.
    Skymania has not seen the paper and so has been free to do some detective work to discover what will be announced. Despite wild speculation on the internet, there is unlikely to be an announcement that extra-terrestrials have been discovered, for the reasons very well put forward by Stuart Atkinson’s Cumbrian Sky.

    But our own investigations suggest that it follows a breakthrough in the discovery of microbes in a deadly poisonous lake that get their energy from arsenic. Experts say this shows they had a completely different origin to any other creature known on our planet. It means that life began not just once but at least twice on Earth.

    A key scientist on NASA’s panel will be Dr Felisa Wolfe-Simon who has spent two years investigating Mono Lake, in California’s Yosemite National Park. The lake has no outlet and has, over many millenia, built up one of the highest natural concentrations of arsenic on Earth.

    Geobiologist Dr Wolfe-Simon has been looking to see whether microbes with a totally different make-up to that of conventional carbon-based life could have developed. There was an interesting article about her search for alien life on Earth in NASA’s online Astrobiology Magazine.

    The importance that NASA attaches to her discovery and its implications for finding extra-terrestrial life is demonstrated by the fact that they will have on tomorrow’s panel experts on two other sites in the solar system where life might have developed.

    They are Pamela Conrad who is looking for life on Mars and Steven Benner who is studying Saturn’s largest moon Titan which has a dense atmosphere like Earth but lakes of liquid methane rather than water. Also on the panel will be ecologist James Elser who is involved with a NASA-funded search for ET.

    All life previously discovered is of one basic type because it relies on phosphorous as an essential building block. The newly found microbes seem to use arsenic instead.

    Astrobiologist Dr Lewis Dartnell, of the Centre for Planetary Sciences in London, told Skymania today: “Mona Lake has a very high concentration of arsenic dissolved in it which is usually poisonous and consequently there’s not much life.

    “I’m 90 per cent certain that Felisa has found something in Mona Lake and they have been able to demonstrate in some way that it uses arsenic in its metabolism rather than be poisoned by it.”

    He added: “Phosphorous is key and absolutely essential for life. It forms the backbone of DNA. Every form of life of Earth we have known so far depends on phosphorous as well as another molecule called ATP, an energy storage molecule, or biological battery.

    “It is exciting to find life in an arsenic-rich environment. If these organisms are using arsenic in their metabolism, it demonstrates that there are other life forms to that as we know it.”

    Dr Dartnell went on: “There is no reason to expect that life arose just once on Earth. It could have arisen any number of times. The only reason that all life we have found so far has all descended from the same progenitor – the same mother of life – is because we’ve been looking for life in the same way.

    “But if you start looking in extreme environments like Mona Lake, where our kind of life doesn’t survive very well, that’s where you find fundamentally different life forms with a separate origin. They’re aliens, but aliens that share the same home as us.”

    Dr Wolfe-Simon has previously said of her research: “It may prove that there are other possibilities that are beyond our imagination. It opens the door for us to think about biology in ways we have never thought.
    “We are going to look for life on other planets and we only know to look for that which we know. This may help us to develop tools to look for something we have never seen.”

    Last year NASA revealed the detection of plumes of methane on Mars that offered compelling evidence that there might be life on the red planet.
    British space scientist Professor Colin Pillinger, who has devoted his life to finding life on Mars, told Skymania: “If they have found anything which they can attribute to arsenic-based life then it is very interesting and obviously has connotations for other places in the universe where life forms other than the ones on Earth may very well have developed.”


  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    354
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Re: NASA to announce Alien life... here on Earth.

    i've been reading about this and something about microbes that can survive in arsenic.

  3. #3
    Expatriate American Patriot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    A Banana Republic, Central America
    Posts
    48,612
    Thanks
    82
    Thanked 28 Times in 28 Posts

    Default Re: NASA to announce Alien life... here on Earth.

    I've had this theory since I was kid. Was laughed at then, because I was a kid.

    Not so damned funny NOW IS IT!

    Bastards
    Libertatem Prius!


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




  4. #4
    Senior Member RememberCuba94's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Miami
    Posts
    201
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Re: NASA to announce Alien life... here on Earth.

    That is really interesting. I only have one question. Are they seriously basing the "life came a second time" theory on the microbes' dependence on arsenic? What if the microbes were just designed that way?

    I sincerely doubt that this discovery just proves life in other worlds and that particular theory.
    Domine, dirige nos.

  5. #5
    Expatriate American Patriot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    A Banana Republic, Central America
    Posts
    48,612
    Thanks
    82
    Thanked 28 Times in 28 Posts

    Default Re: NASA to announce Alien life... here on Earth.

    No, not really. Life "as we know it" is based on carbon (with certain other elements being necessary for life). Arsenic is poisonous to that life.

    IF there are microbes that can live in that environment (and apparently there are) then our perception of "life as we know it" is about to change.

    THUS... comes Sagan's vision of life... if you have not read or seen the very cool videos he did many years ago about "Cosmos" you really ought to watch, or read that material.

    He envisioned that life could very well exist on Jupiter for instance, as large, flying monstrous "whales" that lived in the atmosphere, ate lesser gas creatures that also flew in the atmosphere and explained why this was possible.

    I think that our life here on earth is due primarily to panspermia and evolution.
    Libertatem Prius!


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




  6. #6
    Expatriate American Patriot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    A Banana Republic, Central America
    Posts
    48,612
    Thanks
    82
    Thanked 28 Times in 28 Posts

    Default Re: NASA to announce Alien life... here on Earth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peterle Matteo View Post
    Me and you need oxigen to live.

    Vegetables need CO2 and light to live.

    These liveform need heat and toxic (for us) substances.



    Chemosynthesis is not photosynthesis and it not breathing!

    They seem from another Planet;but they are not.

    They simply evolved in a hostile Environment.
    No no... it's "respiration". Breathing and "respiration" are different in a biological sense. (Yes, I know we call breathing respiration, but technically, they are different parts of a process...)

    Respiration is the metabolic processes whereby certain organisms obtain energy from organic molecules; processes that take place in the cells and tissues during which energy is released and carbon dioxide is produced and absorbed by the blood to be transported to the lungs.

    So photosynthesis is on form of respiration that occurs. We eat food materials and remove chemicals from the cellular materials and breathe to take in oxygen, which is in turn used to oxidize the material we obtained chemically by eating thus producing that energy.

    In other words, we are "biological machines" and we work in a manner not dissimilar to an internal combustion engine. In it's most basic form, a carbon based living cell is nothing more than an internal combustion engine.
    Libertatem Prius!


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    354
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Re: NASA to announce Alien life... here on Earth.

    rick is dead on. mitochondria, ATP, cell differentiation...that's where "it all starts".

    WARNING!! Potential thread derail:

    i just want to know how the hell amino acids formed proteins that create mitochondria.
    Last edited by zenbudda; December 2nd, 2010 at 19:08.

  8. #8
    Senior Member RememberCuba94's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Miami
    Posts
    201
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Re: NASA to announce Alien life... here on Earth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Donaldson View Post
    No, not really. Life "as we know it" is based on carbon (with certain other elements being necessary for life). Arsenic is poisonous to that life.

    IF there are microbes that can live in that environment (and apparently there are) then our perception of "life as we know it" is about to change.

    THUS... comes Sagan's vision of life... if you have not read or seen the very cool videos he did many years ago about "Cosmos" you really ought to watch, or read that material.

    He envisioned that life could very well exist on Jupiter for instance, as large, flying monstrous "whales" that lived in the atmosphere, ate lesser gas creatures that also flew in the atmosphere and explained why this was possible.

    I think that our life here on earth is due primarily to panspermia and evolution.
    I believe in intelligent design.
    Domine, dirige nos.

  9. #9
    Expatriate American Patriot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    A Banana Republic, Central America
    Posts
    48,612
    Thanks
    82
    Thanked 28 Times in 28 Posts

    Default Re: NASA to announce Alien life... here on Earth.

    Mitochondria.... Lost me. mitochondria is a 'creature' by itself, if I remember my biology right and what I've read since HS and College.

    Mitochondria is the power supply for cells and does a whole lot of other things. however, I'm reasonably certain I remember reading someplace, some theory that mitochondria actually was a "stand alone" creature at one point in time and somehow became a part of cellular structures in some kind of symbiotic relationship.

    Unfortunately, I can't remember where I read that

    Basically though our own cells don't do photosynthesis - so we have to have a way to convert matter into energy so, that's where this all comes in.

    This really isn't off topic either if you think about it. The kind of life we find out there won't likely be "intelligent" right off. It will most assuredly be single cellular or even simple multicellular life forms. I mentioned the theory of panspermia earlier and I believe (there's that word... lol) that life came to planet Earth on the interstellar bus system - comets.

    There is simply no reason that life can't exist in space. Or rather survive. Cells - in particular simple, single cellular structures can easily be frozen on Earth and revived later. Viruses, which are nothing more than DNA or RNA structures that insert themselves into the nucleus of living cells - which, by the way, contain mitochondria, which is the active ingredient that allows such a thing to happen.

    Since a virus can cause a cell to die and therefore propagate itself in this manner - and who knows how or where they can be formed - why not simply from outerspace to begin with?

    Every single biological system (Ecosystem) on Planet Earth has viruses in it, affecting it, and living because of it. If indeed you can call a virus "alive" (which, technically they are not).

    That brings me back to the beginning.

    Viruses aren't technically a lifeform, because, they do not respirate. The simple exist to infect living creatures and propagate.

    Other structures however, like bacterium do obtain energy from their environment and I think if not mistaken they have mitochondria as well.
    Libertatem Prius!


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




  10. #10
    Expatriate American Patriot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    A Banana Republic, Central America
    Posts
    48,612
    Thanks
    82
    Thanked 28 Times in 28 Posts

    Default Re: NASA to announce Alien life... here on Earth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peterle Matteo View Post
    When a space mission start:are you sure no terrestrial micro-liveform is carried on space?

    When an unmanned mission arrives on Mars...can it carry liveform to Mars?
    If I correctly understand your question, then the answer is yes it could.

    While they certainly work very hard to prevent the introduction of earth borne germs into space bound platforms, there is no way in hell that they can completely eliminate every virus, bacteria or for that matter even human DNA from being sent into space.

    So - the very idea of panspermia is easy to grasp if you think of it this way... one day, in the far, far distant future Earth is hit and demolished by a rogue planetoid. Pieces of Earth fly far and wide eventually picking up minerals and junk from space, maybe some water vapor or at least oxygen, hydrogen and other gasses. Eventually this rock forms a comet which eventually plunges into the atmosphere of some habitable planet with intelligent life forms.

    Those poor people then get an injection of the common cold virus which of course spreads among them like smallpox.....

    it's not a very difficult thing to see happen, is it?
    Libertatem Prius!


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




  11. #11
    Expatriate American Patriot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    A Banana Republic, Central America
    Posts
    48,612
    Thanks
    82
    Thanked 28 Times in 28 Posts

    Default Re: NASA to announce Alien life... here on Earth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peterle Matteo View Post
    A terrestrial virus can "survive" on Mars forever.

    It will be Alien by a Mars point of view.
    I disagree with part of what you just said, but not for the reasons you said.

    If you examine very carefully the distances of planets from one another in our solar system you will see there is a massive, massive asteroid field iin between Mars and Jupiter.

    I contend (without evidence of course) and it is my theory and HAS been since I was a young child, that there once existed another planet in that place where now there resides nothing but fragments of the once-planet.

    At some time in the far distant past, perhaps a few million years after Earth and Moon were formed (about 13 billion years ago) I think that planet was destroy by something big. Another planet. Mars was a MOON of that planet which can explain several things about it's location now.

    So, my thoughts are life existed there before and some of it was brought to earth on that massive collision. I think a majority of life here is from space to begin with. From the Mars-Planet system that was destroyed.

    The reverse is possible of course,an Alien virus landed on Earth in the past, it rest in latency until it wake up with favorable conditions.
    Agreed. I think many of our "newly discovered viruses" are indeed from space.

    I remember an experiment:

    There was electricity to simulate the Lightning and a soup of "elements" supposed to be here in the far Earth past.

    At the end organic substances appeared.
    I think that took place in the mid 1960s. I remember the original experiment, or at least the news talking about it. The created strings of RNA sequenced type material I think, or at least the long protein strands that could become RNA.
    Libertatem Prius!


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




  12. #12
    Expatriate American Patriot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    A Banana Republic, Central America
    Posts
    48,612
    Thanks
    82
    Thanked 28 Times in 28 Posts

    Default Re: NASA to announce Alien life... here on Earth.

    And this, Peterle was much closer to modern time, and HOME for you:


    Scientists a step nearer to creating artificial life

    · New progress towards synthetic organism
    · Hope of fuels, drugs and ways to fight pollution








    • To the untrained eye, the tiny, misshapen, fatty blobs on Giovanni Murtas's microscope slide would not look very impressive. But when the Italian scientist saw their telltale green fluorescent glint he knew he had achieved something remarkable - and taken a vital step towards building a living organism from scratch.


      The green glow was proof that his fragile creations were capable of making their own proteins, a crucial ability of all living things and vital for carrying out all other aspects of life.


      Though only a first step, the discovery will hasten efforts by scientists to build the world's first synthetic organism. It could also prove a significant development in the multibillion-dollar battle to exploit the technology for manufacturing commercially valuable chemicals such as drugs and biofuels or cleaning up pollution.


      The achievement is a major advance for the new field of "synthetic biology". Its proponents hope to construct simple bespoke organisms with carefully chosen components. But some campaigners worry about the new technology's unsettling potential and argue there should be a moratorium on the research until the ethical and technological implications have been discussed more widely.


      One of the field's leading lights is the controversial scientist Craig Venter, a beach bum turned scientific entrepreneur who is better known for sequencing the human genome and scouring the oceans for unknown genes on his luxury research yacht. The research institute he founded hopes to create an artificial "minimal organism". And he believes there is big money at stake.



      In an interview with Newsweek magazine earlier this year, Dr Venter claimed that a fuel-producing microbe could become the first billion- or trillion-dollar organism. The institute has already patented a set of genes for creating such a stripped-down creature.


      Ultimately, synthetic biologists hope to create the most efficient form of life possible, with the fewest genes needed to allow the organism to grow, replicate and proliferate. But researchers have approached the problem from two radically different directions. Dr Venter's team is starting with one of the simplest forms of cellular life known to science - the bacterium Mycoplasma genitalium, which causes urinary tract infections. By stripping out each of its 482 genes and observing the effect on the organism they have calculated that a core of 381 are vital for life.


      In contrast to this top-down approach, Dr Murtas, at the Enrico Fermi research centre at Roma Tre University in Italy, and Pier Luigi Luisi aim to build a living thing from the bottom up. "The bottom-up approach has the possibility of creating living systems from entirely non-living materials," said Tom Knight, an expert in synthetic biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
      "That's the real power of synthetic biology ... If you can take it apart into little bits and pieces and shuffle things around and put it back together and it still works, you can have much more confidence that you really understand what is going on."


      The Italian team's advance is to make simple cells which are essentially bags made up of a fatty membrane containing just 36 enzymes and purified ribosomes - microscopic components common to all cells which translate the genetic code into protein. The primitive cells are capable of manufacturing protein from one gene.



      The team chose a fluorescent green protein found in jellyfish because it was easy to see, using a microscope, when the protein is being made. "We are trying to minimise any system we put in place for the cell," said Dr Murtas. "We can prove at this point that we can have protein synthesis with a minimum set of enzymes - 36 at the moment." He hopes the project will teach him about the earliest stirrings of life in Earth's primeval slime some 3.5bn years ago.
      "It's impressive work," said Prof Knight. "Protein synthesis is a wonderful place to start, partly because it is so well understood and ... you can figure out what is going wrong relatively easily. But there is a lot more involved in making cells that are alive ... I think the bottom-up people have a long way to go."
      Dr Murtas acknowledges that his bags of enzymes are a long way from a fully functioning cell, but it is an important proof of principle - being able to make proteins is key for the cell to acquire new functions. Giving it the ability to grow, divide, partition components into daughter cells correctly and replicate DNA will be a major challenge, though. The team will report the work in the journal Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications.
      Dr Murtas is now working on making cells which are capable of division - crucial if they are to be truly alive. As the membrane grows, the team hope it will reach a point where the cell becomes too big and so gives rise to a pair of daughter cells.
      In June, Dr Venter's research team announced that they had discovered how to carry out a "genome transplant". They showed they could move the genetic recipe of one species of Mycoplasma bacterium into another closely related species.
    Libertatem Prius!


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




  13. #13
    Expatriate American Patriot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    A Banana Republic, Central America
    Posts
    48,612
    Thanks
    82
    Thanked 28 Times in 28 Posts

    Default Re: NASA to announce Alien life... here on Earth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peterle Matteo View Post
    Asteroid belt.

    It is between Mars and Jupiter where gravitational pull doesnt allow a Planet to form and been stable.

    That's what i remember from school.
    Oh? Who says?

    That's nonsense. And a theory, just like my theory.

    But if you LOOK at the facts of planets as we know them now, not as we knew them when you and I were in school many years ago, we now know that planets don't ALWAYS form on the plane of the ecliptic. In fact, the can be in all kinds of locations going around the star.

    Further, many giant gas planets are counter to the normal revolution around a planet and will tend to TAKE OUT inner planets.

    Truth is we don't know, but I seriously doubt those rocks, millions and millions of them got there because they couldn't collect into a planet-sized chunk of rock.
    Libertatem Prius!


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




  14. #14
    Expatriate American Patriot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    A Banana Republic, Central America
    Posts
    48,612
    Thanks
    82
    Thanked 28 Times in 28 Posts

    Default Re: NASA to announce Alien life... here on Earth.

    Quote Originally Posted by michael2 View Post
    Your comment about a Planet where the Asteroid belt is now resonates weirdly with me because that's exactly what I believe, starting from a very different perspective altogether, and that Mars was the moon of this destroyed World....

    "And there was War in Heaven...."
    /chuckles

    When I was seven I was studying some books during the summer on the planets and one of them was a very specific book with graphs and charts. I remember I was seven because I started wanting very badly to get a telescope. I didn't get one until I was 10 or so.

    Anyway, during the summer I sat and wrote several pages of notes about the distances... and while I don't remember the exact material now, I remember that the place where the asteroid belt IS should have had a planet based on the distances from each of the others. Pluto didn't fit even back then, it was retrograde and it wasn't really even a planet. Just a huge rock.

    I was seven years old and without any sort of "training" (that is brain washing required to accept what was considered the norm back then) - and assumed that logically, there should be a planet there. Even today people refuse to accept that idea.

    Mars was, as far as I am concerned a moon to a planet that resided in that orbit once. I can't prove it, and I can't give you firm evidence for it... but "I Believe".....
    Libertatem Prius!


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




  15. #15
    Expatriate American Patriot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    A Banana Republic, Central America
    Posts
    48,612
    Thanks
    82
    Thanked 28 Times in 28 Posts

    Default Re: NASA announces aresnic based life forms

    New studies slam NASA report on arsenic-friendly bacteria




    The Bunsen Burner | Sean Fears | Monday, July 09, 2012



    Tweet Share



    The elements carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen lie at the heart of the biological processes that make life possible, but they are by no means the only elements that facilitate those processes. Phosphorous may not be one of the first elements that come to mind when it comes to supporting life, but there are good reasons that phosphates are a critical component in plant fertilizers; both DNA and RNA are dependent on the availablility of phosphorous, as are energy storage compounds such as ATP, and thus, the presence of biologically available (i.e., able to be metabolized by an organism) phosphorous is seen to be an essential environmental requirement.
    A 2010 NASA study garnered a lot of attention when its authors, observing bacteria in Lake Mono, California, reported that the bacteria were surviving on arsenic instead of phosphorous. Such a discovery would be of obvious interest to NASA, as it would expand the list of possible environments where life might be found beyond the confines of Earth. This bacteria, dubbed GFAJ-1, reportedly utilized arsenic in the construction of its cell wall as well as other systems. The key finding of the study was that:
    “The newly discovered microbe, strain GFAJ-1, is a member of a common group of bacteria, the Gammaproteobacteria. In the laboratory, the researchers successfully grew microbes from the lake on a diet that was very lean on phosphorus, but included generous helpings of arsenic. When researchers removed the phosphorus and replaced it with arsenic the microbes continued to grow. Subsequent analyses indicated that the arsenic was being used to produce the building blocks of new GFAJ-1 cells.”


    Two independent teams are disputing this finding. One team argues that the bacteria were just well-adapted to life in the extreme lake environment and able to efficiently use the scarce amount of phosphorous that was available to meet its needs and that there may have been phosphorous contamination that enabled GFAJ-1 to grow in the supposedly phosporous-free testing conditions. Another says that arsenic does not contribute to the growth of the microbe at all. Either way, both papers clearly conflict with the findings of the study.
    “The title of their paper was: ‘A Bacterium That Can Grow by Using Arsenic Instead of Phosphorus,’” says co-author Leonid Kruglyak of Princeton University, according to USA Today. “We think we’ve shown this is not the case.”
    Scientific disputes are common, as new evidence is continually being revealed that brings into question the results of other studies. Last year, results from an experiment at CERN briefly challenged Albert Einstein’s theory that the maximum speed at which particles travel through space is light.
    “The first report is rarely the last word, and if a finding is of interest, one needs to follow the subsequent discussion,” Mr. Kruglyak adds. “If a find is of high interest and importance, this usually happens fairly rapidly, and claims are either firmly verified or refuted.”
    The lead researcher from the NASA study, Felisa Wolfe-Simon of NASA’s Astrobiology Institute, states that the data in the new findings do not in fact conflict with the study at all.
    The findings were released Sunday in the journal Science.
    Libertatem Prius!


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




  16. #16
    Expatriate American Patriot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    A Banana Republic, Central America
    Posts
    48,612
    Thanks
    82
    Thanked 28 Times in 28 Posts

    Default Re: NASA announces aresnic based life forms











    Monday, July 9, 2012
    Annoying Arsenic Claim Debunked for Good - We Hope.


    It didn’t make sense from the get-go. A group of researchers claimed last December that they’d discovered an arsenic-based life form. They made a bunch of noise about a “shadow biosphere” that might have sprung from a separate origin of life. There was also a bunch of hand-waving about how this also had something to do with life on other planets. And someone said it could lead to new fertilizer.



    It was one of those annoying press conferences in which the scientist spent all her time telling the world how important her finding was and no time explaining what the evidence was to back the claim.



    Well, the only part that’s holding together now is the fact that there was enough BS dished out to fertilize the whole Midwest. Now scientists have also shot down the scientific claim that the organisms can exist without phosphorus and that they make special DNA that substitute arsenic for phosphorus. It was published online in Science, the same journal that published the initial findings.


    As soon as I started reporting on the findings last December I found a number of serious doubters, including one who compared the claim with cold fusion. Here’s a passage from one previous story:

    On Thursday, the researchers issued a more modest claim. Instead of saying the microbes had completely substituted arsenic for phosphorus, a new statement says the arsenic replaced "a small percentage" of the phosphorus. A number of biologists say they'll be surprised if even this stands the test of time.
    The claims "do not follow from their results," said Simon Silver, a University of Illinois microbiologist who specializes in heavy-metal resistance in bacteria. "This conclusion is not merited from what they did and measured and I think it most likely is a mistake and should never have been claimed or published."
    The findings were published in the journal Science, which also issued the researchers' latest statement. Most of its 16 pages were responses to critics.
    At the original NASA news event, the team leader, Felisa Wolfe-Simon, had been vague about how much arsenic had substituted for phosphorus, but several times she implied that arsenic had replaced all the phosphorus in the bacterial DNA and other crucial biological molecules.
    "All life requires carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulfur," she said. "I've shown here today that we've discovered a life-form that substitutes arsenic for phosphorus in its DNA. . . . It's solved the challenge of being alive in a very different way."
    NASA reinforced this notion with an animated graphic of a DNA molecule, in which little orange balls representing phosphorus magically disappeared and were all replaced by green balls representing arsenic....Some have compared the hype surrounding the arsenic bacteria to a 1996 NASA announcement of possible fossilized Martian bacteria in a meteorite.
    Silver says this latest claim is worse. To its credit, he said, the Mars meteorite team had been clearer about separating its evidence from its conclusions.
    "Here they claim far-out conclusions without supporting results. It is more like Uri Geller spoon-bending and 'water with memory' and 'cold fusion,' " he said. read the rest here.

    Here’s what Science has to say:


    “Two new reports show that a bacterium, known as GFAJ-1, requires small amounts of phosphate to grow -- and that it cannot substitute arsenic for phosphorus to survive, as one previous report had suggested. The GFAJ-1 bacterium, found in the arsenic-rich sediments of California's Mono Lake, became the center of a controversy last year when researchers reported that the microorganism could incorporate arsenic into its DNA when phosphorus wasn't available. But Tobias Erb and colleagues now show that, although GFAJ-1 is able to grow under high-arsenate and low-phosphate conditions, the bacterium needs to be supplied with some amount of phosphate in order to grow at all…. Phosphorus remained essential for the organisms to grow, although GFAJ-1 was able to grow a t much lower phosphate concentrations than other arsenate-resistant strains, they say. Read the paper here.
    Libertatem Prius!


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




  17. #17
    Super Moderator Malsua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    8,020
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 19 Times in 18 Posts

    Default Re: NASA announces aresnic based life forms

    Well, I for one am glad that's settled.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


  18. #18
    Expatriate American Patriot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    A Banana Republic, Central America
    Posts
    48,612
    Thanks
    82
    Thanked 28 Times in 28 Posts

    Default Re: NASA announces aresnic based life forms

    /chuckles

    I don't care one way or another. lol
    Libertatem Prius!


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •