Hey Space Placers!
The much anticipated NASA Astrobiology-Extraterrestrial Life related press conference today - 12-2-10 - was about an Earth-bound discovery. I and I am sure a lot of others did not expect the announcement to have to do with Mono Lake in California!
A team of NASA backed researchers found a microorganism that can survive and thrive using arsenic instead of phosphorus for key biological processes. This is the first instance of such a discovery and it basically says that life as we know it has just been expanded. The biology textbooks will have to be rewritten and this discovery begs the question, "What else can life do that we are not aware of?"
Here is the link to read more: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/02dec_monolake/
Life as we knew it before today's announcement can exist in extreme environments of heat, cold, pressure, drought, high and low Ph levels. Now we find that life can exist beyond the original six basic chemical elements and using an element that is toxic and fatal to life, including humans.
I am convinced that life is teeming in the Universe and that life always finds a way to survive.
Sky Guy in VA