So, we’ve discovered a new life form. Not alien life from another planet, not intelligent life, but life different than anything we’ve ever known before. Some say “What’s the big deal? It’s just bacteria, more money wasted studying pond scum”.
“Life as we know it.” I’ve heard it a million times. Now I wonder what we’ll say when we speculate about life on other planets.
Extreamophiles are proving life can spring up using elements toxic to “Life as we knew it”. Where we, and every other living thing on the planet, (up until this discovery was made) use phosphorus as part of our building blocks, this new bacterium uses arsenic instead of phosphorus.
I can imagine some Sci-fi writer is at his computer right now developing a story about an intergalactic war between the Phosphorites and the Arsenicians. Gee, I hope the Phosphorites win.
I can bet once we learn about the waste gases of this new life form, we will search for an abundance of this element on other planets and moons. I also bet this isn’t the last unique form of life we find living on our own planet; we’ve just begun to learn where to look.
I say it’s money well spent.
Check out the link and read the story that inspired this post. Thanks.