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NASA finds new form of life... on Earth

Started by Freddy, December 03, 2010, 18:37:52 PM

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QuoteBacteria that thrive on arsenic have been scooped from a California lake, a discovery that redefines the building blocks of life and offers new hope in the search for other organisms on Earth and beyond.

Full story here....


Interesting story, I read it on the BBC site a couple of days ago, that's going to change how we search for life on other planets and moons I should think. 


As a living being I am happy I can recognise other living things.

As soon as you define life you will find something that breaks that definition. It happens again.

I caught this story on radio 1. Interesting.
"I cannot remember the books I've read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me."

Ralph Waldo Emerson


  I believe I saw or read that somewhere,  I'd heard from some where that a virus will not meet all the requirements of our definition of life.  Just looked in Wikipedia at virus but although interesting didn't help me on what I was looking for.


As far as I'm concerned (my opinion matters to me) virus' are alive. If not a pain in the butt.
The more we find about them the more we realise how much they've steered evolution. Most life has copies of virus' DNA in it's genome.
The reason they are sometimes not classed as life is due to they cannot replicate on their own. They hijack other cells replication machinery, the definition of a virus.
So, by that definition, the life NASA has found is not life due to it doesn't use the 6 'must' elements of life that even virus' use.
Life is complex and is not the problem. The problem is the definition.
"I cannot remember the books I've read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me."

Ralph Waldo Emerson


  What I was looking for was something which stated that a virus was capable of traveling through space.  I believe I'd heard that a virus would go into a dormant state but is capable of surviving space travel. 
  Wikipedia says there are forms of viruses that provide useful functions.   Virus self-assembly within host cells has implications for the study of the origin of life, as it lends further credence to the hypothesis that life could have started as self-assembling organic molecules.[1] "