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December 03, 2010


Brian Rogers

"On the other hand, the fact that GFAJ-1 can apparently build DNA using arsenic rather than phosphorus means there is likely a wider range of possible genetic molecules than biologists had expected. There may well be organisms elsewhere in the Galaxy which use very different molecules as the "information storage medium" for their genes."

Which, at least to me, is a huge deal. I get pissy with the media trying to make this something that it's not to make it feel bidder than it is when what it is is pretty damn big. But I still want people to acknowledge that it is pretty damn big.

Then again, anything that looks like it's shifting the Drake Equation in favor of contacting extraterrestrial life is OK by me.

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    Diane Kelly is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she studies the neural wiring and mechanical engineering of reproductive systems.
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