SPOILER: it's on earth, in a poisonous lake here in California. Wait, what?! BOOOOOOOOO!! I was hoping for some of those bug-eyed bastards with the glowing fingers and androgynous nether-regions. You know -- some sessy-ass aliens.
In a surprising revelation, NASA scientist Felisa Wolfe Simon and her team have found a bacteria whose DNA is completely alien to what we know today, working differently than the rest of the organisms in the planet. Instead of using phosphorus, the newly discovered microorganism--called GFAJ-1 and found in Mono Lake, California--uses the poisonous arsenic for its building blocks.
Like NASA's Ed Weiler says: "The definition of life has just expanded."
NASA's geobiologist Pamela Conrad thinks that the discovery is huge and "phenomenal," comparing it to the Star Trek episode in which the Enterprise crew finds Horta, a silicon-based alien life form that can't be detected with tricorders because it wasn't carbon-based. It's like saying that we may be looking for new life in the wrong places with the wrong methods.
Awesome, so we should start looking for arsenic and other element-based lifeforms, instead of just phosphorus. Not to piss on any toes, but I would have already been doing that. Still, "the definition of life has just expanded", that's a really exciting notion. BUT AS SOON AS IT'S EXPANDED TO INCLUDE ROCKS SCIENCE IS DEAD TO ME.
NASA Finds New Life [gizmodo]
Thanks to Chris, &ndR3w-san, Enormosaurus, Amanda, Captain Cramp, gr3vr, Owen, R-Man Amazing, Peterman, jojo, Elizabeth, Alicia, Brandon, Eric, alyson, Matt, Andi, Alex, Gutteral Retch, Seth, Esteban, Dany, Leon, miko, Sean, coprohead, Nuclear Xmas, Etienne, cocoa and anybody who didn't include "NASA" or "alien" in their tip, who all had their fingers crossed for some serious Area 51 UFO declassifications. Ditto, guys. Mad booboo.