NASA has announced a discovery that has changed the scientific community’s understanding of life as we know it. In addition to all life being carbon based, it was generally accepted that all life on Planet Earth needed oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, sulfur, and phosphorus in order to survive. Now a team of NASA scientists studying bacteria in Mono Lake in California have discovered a microorganism that substitutes arsenic — a chemical that is toxic to almost all living organisms — for all parts of a cell that in every other life form are built from phosphate.

Read more: NASA Discovers New Form of Life, Could Revolutionize Energy | Inhab...

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I wonder what possibilities this could hold for extra- terrestrial life.

This is an old post from 2010 and I believe the discovery has flaws in it. Please look up the updated info.

This post from 2012 says that the bacteria avoid arsenic and utilize phosphorus whenever possible:

http://www.nature.com/news/arsenic-life-bacterium-prefers-phosphoru...

Dorian and Idaho Spud. Thank you for informing us of this. I had missed these articles when those early findings and the corrections were announced. 

I remember the study being discredited also. Here is more documentation of it.

 

http://phys.org/news/2012-07-scientists-nasa-arsenic-life-untrue.html

Thanks John.  That provided additional information.

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