Arsenic Based Life

Earlier this week, NASA teased a big discovery, which many thought to be life on Titan.

While not as cool as life on Titan, the discovery was that of arsenic based life. In a NASA funded research project, Felisa Rose-Wolfe took bacteria from Mono Lake in California and fed them only arsenic for a year. The bacteria grew, even though they were deprived one of the essential elements found in all Earth-based life.

The implication of this discovery is the basic building blocks of life on Earth are not unique. Although carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulfur are found in all life on Earth, this is not the only viable combination of elements. This means that exoplanets do not have to be “Earth-like” to harbor life.

The actual research article can be found here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s