Thursday, December 2, 2010

NASA scientist discovers new life form

Remember how I always say all life on Earth makes DNA the same way? That life builds DNA with a backbone of sugar and phosphate? Well, not anymore. Nasa Scientist Felisa Wolfe Simon and her team of researchers have discovered a bacterium that does not build its DNA with phosphate, but uses Arsenic instead!!

The organism was discovered in Mono Lake here in California. This bacteria, called GFAJ-1 can eat arsenic, but so can a few other bacteria. What makes this bacteria so unusual is that it makes its DNA from it!

Arsenic is very toxic to most of us, but this single celled organism has found a way to make DNA, RNA, proteins and even its cell membranes from it.

To read the press release from NASA click here

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