Arsenic, NASA Announcement

December 2, 2010 by USA Post 

Arsenic, The announcement that NASA has not officially been made has been disclosed as soon as a Black Friday sale. The announcement said that NASA had to do with new life, and many, including us, hopes meant somewhere in the universe and had the words “small” green “and” men “in it. But, alas, no.

NASA’s big announcement involves arsenic, here on Earth. NASA has discovered an entirely new life form that does not share the biological building blocks of everything else on the planet Earth. Thus, foreigners are still theoretically involved. The bacterium was completely foreign DNA of everything we know as they exist today.

All life on earth, fungi to humans, is composed of these six things: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur.

This new form of life uses arsenic instead of phosphorus.

Thus, you may still want to give a press conference at NASA at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time today for details. We’ll be there!

See online posting to: 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

“We know that some microbes can breathe arsenic, but what we found is a bug to do something new – building parts of herself with arsenic,” said Felisa Wolfe-Simon, a NASA Astrobiology Research Fellow in residence at the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, Calif., and chief scientist of the research team. “If anything here on Earth can do something so unexpected that may the life we have not seen?”

The newly discovered microbe, strain GFAJ-1, is a member of a group of common bacteria, Gammaproteobacteria. In the laboratory, researchers have successfully developed the germs of the lake on a diet that was very thin on phosphorus, but included generous portions of arsenic. When the researchers removed the phosphorus and replaced by arsenic microbes have continued to grow. Lateranlysis indicated that arsenic was used to produce the building blocks of new GFAJ-1 cells.

The key question was when the researchers studied the microbe was grown on arsenic, arsenic has been effectively incorporated into machinery agencies’ vital biochemicals, such as DNA, proteins and cell membranes. A variety of sophisticated laboratory techniques was used to determine where arsenic was incorporated.

The team chose to explore the Mono Lake because of its unusual chemistry, particularly its high salinity, high alkalinity, and high levels of arsenic. This chemistry is in part a result of isolation Mono Lake from its sources of freshwater for 50 years.

The results of this study will inform ongoing research in many areas, including the study of the evolution of the Earth, organic chemistry, biogeochemical cycles, the attenuation of disease and the Earth System Research. These results will also open new frontiers in microbiology and other fields of research.

“The idea of alternative biochemistries for life is common in science fiction,” said Carl Pilcher, director of the Institute of Astrobiology Center NASA Ames Research Agency Moffett Field, California “Until now, and a life form using arsenic as a building block was only theoretical, but now we know that life exists in Mono Lake.”

The research team included scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey, Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California, Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Penn., And the Stanford Synchrotron radiation light source in Menlo Park, California

NASA’s astrobiology program in Washington contributed to funding the research through its Exobiology and Evolutionary Biology and the program of the NASA Astrobiology Institute. NASA Astrobiology program supports research on the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life on Earth.

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