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Thread: New Form of Life Discovered

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    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    New Form of Life Discovered

    OK, in the 1950's, they'd have made a Sci-Fi flick out of this, but NASA announced today that they have discovered what has been termed a new form of life, an "extremophile" bacteria. I don't fully understand all of the science behind it (I was awful at science, really I was).

    Still it's an interesting read.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11886943

    Just a snippet from the article:

    John Elliott, a Leeds Metropolitan University researcher who is a veteran of the UK's search for extraterestrial life, called the find a "major discovery"

    "It starts to show life can survive outside the traditional truths and universals that we thought you have to use... this is knocking one brick out of that wall," he said.
    Last edited by redsmetz; 12-02-2010 at 02:31 PM.
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    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: New Form of Life Discovered

    I saw that earlier today.

    Remarkable stuff.

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    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: New Form of Life Discovered

    Here's the Times story which is a bit clearer to me

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/03/sc...c.html?_r=1&hp

    When thinking about the possibility of life on other planets, I've often wondered why it's assumed that different forms couldn't exist that we don't understand here. I'm sure there was a plausible answer to that, but this seems to show that maybe I wasn't so far off either.
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    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: New Form of Life Discovered

    Appropriately, I had put a modern version of Frankenstein in the Netflix cue for viewing tonight.
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    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: New Form of Life Discovered

    Flash forward 25 years...

    "A mysterious, glowing, 50-foot creature rampaged through downtown Los Angeles today, leaving a burning wake of destruction in its path."
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

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    Re: New Form of Life Discovered

    How did Tokyo get spared this time?
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    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
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    Re: New Form of Life Discovered

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool View Post
    Flash forward 25 years...

    "A mysterious, glowing, 50-foot creature rampaged through downtown Los Angeles today, leaving a burning wake of destruction in its path."
    It seems oddly attracted to arsenic and emits strange fumes that cause people to believe they're Teddy Roosevelt. CHAAAARRRRGE!
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    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Re: New Form of Life Discovered

    Why are we assuming this new form of life originated on this planet in the first place?

    If every known life form on the planet follows a set pattern, and we find one that deviates at a very basic chemical level, shouldn't the possibility at least be considered that these microbes are extraterrestrial in origin?
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    Re: New Form of Life Discovered

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    Why are we assuming this new form of life originated on this planet in the first place?

    If every known life form on the planet follows a set pattern, and we find one that deviates at a very basic chemical level, shouldn't the possibility at least be considered that these microbes are extraterrestrial in origin?
    So you're saying the aliens are already among us? Oh man it's like The Event!!!

    But seriously I think that is a decent hypothesis.

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    SERP Emeritus paintmered's Avatar
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    Re: New Form of Life Discovered

    What happens when this bacteria becomes sentient?
    What if this wasn't a rhetorical question?

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    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: New Form of Life Discovered

    Quote Originally Posted by paintmered View Post
    What happens when this bacteria becomes sentient?
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

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    GR8NESS WMR's Avatar
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    Re: New Form of Life Discovered

    If it bleeds we can kill it.
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    Re: New Form of Life Discovered

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    Why are we assuming this new form of life originated on this planet in the first place?

    If every known life form on the planet follows a set pattern, and we find one that deviates at a very basic chemical level, shouldn't the possibility at least be considered that these microbes are extraterrestrial in origin?
    Possibly leftover from a meteor.
    "Now that's a real shame when folks be throwin' away a perfectly good white boy like that."

  15. #14
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: New Form of Life Discovered

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    Why are we assuming this new form of life originated on this planet in the first place?

    If every known life form on the planet follows a set pattern, and we find one that deviates at a very basic chemical level, shouldn't the possibility at least be considered that these microbes are extraterrestrial in origin?
    What they thought could be truly amazing about this discovery was that they thought it was evidence of a "shadow biosphere" that was also being called Life 2.0. This means the world had actually seen a separate, independent origin of life (which would be a pretty darn big deal). But indications are, the bacteria are genetically too similar to ordinary life to truly be descendents of a second genesis.

    But it is an extreme form of life that goes way beyond our previous conceptions of where and what life could be. This broadens the conditions under which we can hypothesize life existing elsewhere. Discussing this with my son last night, I pointed to our black lab snoring on the floor and said "its about as far from that fuzzy lump of protoplasm as you can imagine".

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    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: New Form of Life Discovered

    They didn't just discover this organism on the ground. It was grown in a lab. This didn't happen with out "our training" as this article put it.

    Scientists said Thursday that they had trained a bacterium to eat and grow on a diet of arsenic, in place of phosphorus — one of six elements considered essential for life ...


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