Posts with the tag "Astrobiology"


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Gizmodo: NASA to announce a new kind of lifeform — but one that lives on planet Earth, not Titan

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Gizmodo’s Jesus Diaz, citing a Dutch media outlet, claims that today’s much-hyped NASA press conference will indeed announce the discovery of a new form of life — but not extraterrestrial life.

At their conference today, NASA scientist Felisa Wolfe Simon will announce that they have found a bacteria whose DNA is completely alien to what we know today. Instead of using phosphorus, the bacteria uses arsenic. All life on Earth is made of six components: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur. Every being, from the smallest amoeba to the largest whale, share the same life stream. Our DNA blocks are all the same.

But not this one. This one is completely different. Discovered in the poisonous Mono Lake, California, this bacteria is made of arsenic, something that was thought to be completely impossible.

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Life on Titan? The Twitterverse responds

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Yesterday NASA made a surprise announcement that it would hold a press conference “to discuss an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life.”

As expected, the might of the entire twitterverse set upon unraveling this mystery. Below we collect and interpret the best 140 characters had to offer.

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Has NASA found evidence of extraterrestrial life on Titan?

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In a media advisory posted earlier today, NASA announced that it will hold the a press conference at 2pm on December 2 “to discuss an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life.” The announcement is likely related to the recent discovery of Oxygen in the atmosphere of Titan, one of Saturn’s moons, by the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft.

And with wording like that, we can only assume that this is a truly major announcement. If it just turns out to be a dud — some non-announcement announcement — I sincerely hope their press release writers will soon be looking for another job.

The full media advisory is copied below:

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