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NASA Update: New Kind of Life Form Found!

December 3, 2010

The new organism called GFAJ-1 as seen 5 micrometres

GFAJ-1 is the name of the newest life form that NASA has recently discovered. This organism is another kind of bacteria but unlike any other living forms on earth, it has a different way of synthesis. NASA has discovered that it builds its DNA, RNA, cell membranes, and proteins by using an element called arsenic. Arsenic is a metalloid that is known to be poisonous to majority of living organisms.

The people of NASA described it as “life as we do NOT know it” since it has a different way of making itself live compared to all life forms. All life on this earth have something in common when it comes to life-giving component – carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, and phosphorus. This is the same composition that makes up even the smallest bacterium or the largest blue whale that has ever existed. We humans also have the same DNA blocks except for these newly-discovered bacteria.

The new microorganism named as GFAJ-1 was found by a team of NASA scientists led by Felisa Wolfe-Simon in Mono Lake, California. The team was surprised that the life form they have found is not like any because instead of using phosphorous as building blocks, the poisonous arsenic has become its primary life stream.

As of now, this organism’s way of building itself is alien to all organisms on Earth. Surely, this kind of discovery will bring new researchers that will give another meaning to life literally.

Photo credit: NASA via Gizmodo

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