Friday, December 3, 2010

NASA discovers life on Earth...

Whaat? That's not a headline.

Actually...it is.

NASA researchers have found a bacteria (specifically in the hideously salty Mono Lake in California) that doesn't require phosphorus, which every gardener knows is an essential element for healthy soil.

Every other life form does. Not this one. In fact, it quite happily chows down on arsenic instead.

Yes, that arsenic. The deadly poison.

Science fiction writers have, in the past, postulated environments in which the ecosphere was poisonous to humans. I don't remember if arsenic was ever mentioned (usually it's cyanide, I believe). But...if this is possible, then so is that.

Either way...it expands our understanding of life. (Assuming, of course, it doesn't turn out to be the latest cold fusion).