Tuesday, November 30, 2010

E.T. found? Rumors swirl

Artist conception - ARSENIC LIFE-FORM
Researchers have hypothesized that in alien organisms arsenic could successfully fill the biochemical role that phosphorus plays for known life-forms. Arsenic is poisonous to us because it mimics phosphorus so well; similarly, phosphorus would be poisonous to an arsenic-based organism.

John Roach writes:Rumors and speculation are swirling on the Internet about the subject of a news conference to be carried live at 2 p.m. ET Thursday on NASA TV "to discuss an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life. ...

Among those speakers is Felisa Wolfe-Simon, a researcher at the U.S. Geological Survey who says she's concentrating on "arsenic biogeochemistry, cyanobacteria, novel uses for as yet undescribed metalloenzymes and of course, arsenic-based life!" ...

Blogger Jason Kottke put all those pieces together and speculated that Thursday's announcement would be about the discovery of life on Saturn's moon Titan. But that suggestion was shot down as false in a Twitter post from The Atlantic Monthly's senior editor and science blogger Alexis Madrigal.

Will the secret survive until Thursday? Back in August, NASA let information slip out an hour before the embargo lifted on a report in the journal Science about the discovery of two giant planets in constantly changing orbits. In that instance, NASA made its news release and other information about the discovery publicly available. Going even further back, to 1996, there's the famous case of the Mars meteorite study that leaked out in advance of publication in Science.

What do you think has been found? ...

via Cosmic Log - E.T. found? (False) rumors swirl.

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