A magenta swan with turquoise spots
How fascinating is this new bacterium? (I know it’s not new; new to human knowledge; I look forward to your letters.) It’s a black swan!
The finding shows just how little scientists know about the variety of life forms on Earth, and may greatly expand where they should be looking for life on other planets and moons, the NASA-funded team said.
“Life is mostly composed of the elements carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur and phosphorus,” the researchers write in Science.
These six elements make up the nucleic acids — the A, C, T and G of DNA — as well as proteins and lipids. But there is no reason in theory why other elements should not be used. It is just that science never found anything alive that used them.
See? Total black swan! Seriously exciting.
…it does suggest that astrobiologists looking for life on other planets do not need to look only for planets with the same balance of elements as Earth has.”Our findings are a reminder that life-as-we-know-it could be much more flexible than we generally assume or can imagine,” said Wolfe-Simon.
“If something here on Earth can do something so unexpected, what else can life do that we haven’t seen yet? Now is the time to find out.”
The age of wonder ain’t over yet.