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Life on earth started not once but twice?

There's quite a buzz about an upcoming NASA press conference that will discuss an "astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life"

http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2010/nov/HQ_M10-167_Astrobiology.html

Some people on Slashdot are wondering whether the announcement will in fact be about a new form of life here on earth, as one of the people at the conference will be Felisa Wolfe-Simon who is looking for micro-organisms that use arsenic rather than phosporous. From astrobio.net:

Just to be clear: finding an organism that didn’t need phosphorus, that used arsenic instead, would be one of the most significant scientific discoveries of all time. It would mean that Mono Lake was home to a form of life biologically distinct from all other known life on Earth. It would strongly suggest that life got started on our planet not once, but at least twice, that the origin of life on Earth was not a freak accident requiring highly specialized circumstances, but a relatively commonplace event. And that in turn would strengthen the argument that life is likely to be present on other worlds as well

http://www.astrobio.net/index.php?option=com_expedition&task=detail&id=3259

We could be in for an interesting week.

What do people think about the implications of this?

TAGGED: ANNOUNCEMENTS, BIOLOGY, EVOLUTION


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