Does NASA's finding that life can use Arsenic as a building block for DNA mean anything?
So instead of announcing that they'd found life on Mars, NASA announced today that they have found microbes whose DNA can be made with Arsenic as opposed to Phosphorus (which all other living things on earth use). Does this really mean anything?
In short, it means that the places where extraterrestrial life might be found could be far more numerous than was previously believed.
Prior to this discovery, it was believed that there was only one combination of elements that could result in life, and that certain elements, such as arsenic, were toxic to life.
In terms of astrobiology, this meant the search for extraterrestrial life was limited to looking only for those specific elements, and only for "safe" environments on other planets. NASA's announcement means that the search can be expanded to look at other chemistries and environments.
If life can be made from two combination of elements, are there other valid combinations elsewhere in the universe? If life can exist in poisonous arsenic, and even use it in its DNA, what other environments could it survive in?
by LewSethics6 years ago
We all agree that Time and Space are essential parts of our Universe, even though we can't always agree on what Time and Space are. I think that 'Being' is another one of the building blocks, and that everything...
by God shet3 years ago
What is the smallest 'thing' in the universe, currently? Well, it's 'quarks'. Now the question is: What are 'quarks' made of? Is it true that 'quarks' are made of even smaller particles? Then, what are those...
by nifty@506 years ago
Do you view Nasa's last space Shuttle Flight as a start of a decline for the USA, the end of an era? Or is it a brief pause that will usher in better space flights in the near foreseeable future?
by SantaCruz5 years ago
What do you believe was the purpose behind NASA's secret space plane? It landed today.Here's the story: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47842589/ns … 0ofLV8XEM.
by Hokey6 years ago
A group of researchers working at the Human Genome Project indicate that they made an astonishing scientific discovery: They believe so-called 97% non-coding sequences in human DNA is no less than genetic code of...
by Grace Marguerite Williams3 years ago
[Children from small families tend to be higher academic achievers. They have more monies which means more access to books and other forms of intellectual paraphernalia in their homes. They also interact with their...
Copyright © 2018 HubPages Inc. and respective owners.
Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners.
HubPages® is a registered Service Mark of HubPages, Inc.