CBS News reported on Arsenic-eating bacteria find recipe for life” on Thursday December 2, 2010. Scientists found new life forms in Mono Lake California. This was not as startling as the fact that these life forms are not based on phosphorus but arsenic. Phosphorus is the basis of DNA, fats and proteins. Arsenic is usually toxic to all known life forms. So how could this have happened? Life on Earth is usually composed of: Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Phosphorus and Sulphur. They reported that this new Arsenic based life may show that life may be far more flexible than we previously thought. We may have to rethink what life is or may be out there. Is DNA and epigenetics so flexible that they can build intelligent systems out of many different compounds? What would such creatures look like or eat? Probably very foreign from what we are used to. It may be that amino acids come together and use whatever chemicals are available depending on the planets conditions. These then turn into memory systems and build various life forms leading to intelligence. Water and oxygen may not ne the only signs of life out there! What do you think?

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