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Friday, December 3, 2010 - 11:43am

NASA discovers new life form on Earth.

NASA scientists have discovered a microbe that many scientists are calling a breakthrough. A curious bacteria that thrives on a poisonous substance. An unfamiliar organism that researchers say could point to new forms of life both on Earth and possibly beyond.

Thursday's NASA announcement, researchers discover a strange bacteria in a salty California lake.

This microbe, found in Mono Lake, survives without phosphorus, an essential building block of life as we know it.

NASA Study Leader Felisa Wolfe-Simon says "we've cracked open the door to what's possible for life elsewhere in the universe.”

Instead, this organism replaces phosphorus in its DNA with its chemical cousin, arsenic, and uses that toxic element to thrive.

Bill Nye, The Science Guy, says "you can replace phosphorus with arsenic and not kill yourself so when we go to look for life on other worlds, we could look in a different way."

The NASA-funded researchers say this breakthrough bacterium does illustrate how little scientists know about life forms here on Earth and possibly beyond.

Mary Voytek of NASA says "maybe we'll be able to find ET now because we have more information about what we might be looking for."

Not aliens per say, not even little green men, but possibly microscopic green men that hide in faraway worlds, worlds with a different chemical make-up than our Mother Earth.

The research was supported by NASA, the Department of Energy, and the National Institutes of Health.
 

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