Friday, December 03, 2010

A living fossil of life.

OK the new life finding wasn't exactly like my last post and pic predicted.  NASA did however announced that they have found a life form (bacteria in this case) on earth that is based on different building blocks from every other living thing ever found.  I will not pretend like I even know what I am talking about but I did skim a lot of headlines.  I use a new kind of in depth twitter style research.  I can use more than twitter for information but if I have read more the 140 characters of a news story or research paper I have read too much.  So after doing an exhaustive twitter style research for a few minutes I understand that basically all life  every found has (its DNA?) built up using phosphorous.   The cute little guys in the pic use arsenic.   Yea poison.  This has to be the most bad ass life ever.  Being based on arsenic has a lot of implications about life that I am unaware of and not smart enough to speculate about.  What I am aware of however is that it means life can form in more than the single way we have only every found.   This opens up the where and how life can start dramatically.   It also opens up where we can plausibly look for life on earth and on other planets.   Finally this news makes me speculate (without a shred of concern that I don't know anything about what I am saying) that life or life like structures likely formed in multiple ways on earth in the earlier times of its existence.   Our  phosphorus based life system (and by our I mean every other living thing on earth from bacteria to John Stamos) may be the end of a long line of started only to become extinct life like structures.  As the earths chemical, temperature, and other environment conditions slowly changed into its current state life systems likely began and ended over and over with the phosphorus based system being the fittest for the current state of the earth.  Is the arsenic life structure a living fossil of life itself?


SeanH said...

PZ Myers (prolific blogger, biology professor at Morris) has a good breakdown of this discovery here:

Jared said...

Sean, although your link is to a guy with a beard and some of the sites links are to things i like after reading the 140 characters that is my twitter research style I found nothing to dispute my own absurd hypothesis on the subject. Perhaps if you have future critique you could present it in bits under 140 characters so I can follow it. Good day.

SeanH said...

You forgot to say "Harumph!"