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Old 12-06-2010, 03:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
The Omniscient
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Reno, Nevada, USA
Posts: 998

I had a hard time loading your article 333, but that's fine, because I've already done enough research on this on my own. So apparently they thought that this bacteria used arsenic, which is poisonous to almost every known creature, in it's DNA the same way every other organism on Earth uses phospherus. If this bacteria was able to use arsenic in this way, scientists would be able to safely conclude that it is part of a different branch of the tree of life. This means life would have evolved twice on Earth alone, so naturally, it would have to have happened somewhere else in the universe more than a few times.

Sorry, I feel the need to explain that in the hopes that I'll cover something the article (which still won't open! wtf) doesn't, and because I'm a little bit of a biology nerd.

Anyway, this turned out be complete bull****. The newly-found bacteria did not use the arsenic in it's DNA, it was simply very reisitant to it. Extremophiles (basically, organisms that can live in "extreme" conditions) like this aren't unheard of. Many bacteria, insects, and others have lived in places with a high concentration of arsenic. Sorry to burst anyone's bubble, but this isn't a big, new discovery. It seems that all life on Earth does in fact share a common lineage, just as we have thought for a long time. This doesn't mean that all life in the universe has DNA exactly like ours, it just means that we've yet to discover anything that doesn't. Keep your fingers crossed.

EDIT: The page did eventually open and as I expected, it didn't say much more than I did.

Last edited by Sljslj; 12-06-2010 at 10:18 PM.
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