This sounded intriguing and exciting. I am sure that many people hearing this would have speculated about what whether some evidence had been found to confirm an alien life form, something from outer Space – I know this is what I was thinking about!
So I have to confess that listening to the details of the NASA announcement later today, and the discovery of a new life on Earth, I was a little disappointed.
This in no way detracts from the excellent research conducted by NASA scientist, Felisa Wolfe Simon and her team, who have found in Mono Lake, California, a microorganism called GFAJ-1, which is unlike any other thus far known to man.
It was previously thought that all life on Earth was made of six components: Carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur. And every being, from the smallest amoeba to the largest mammal shares the same DNA blocks. However, this new bacteria is completely different - instead of using phosphorus, the newly discovered microorganism uses poisonous arsenic for its building blocks, forming a completely different DNA. Arsenic is an element that is poisonous to all other living creature on planet Earth, except for a few specialized microscopic creatures.
Undoubtedly, this changes our idea of how life can develop. We must be open to finding very different life forms to those that we know. I just wish the news had been related to the discovery of a new life from Space, something that I am sure exists and I only hope it is discovered in my life time.