December 2, 2010
A Different Form of Life
It turns out a new bacterium was found in California's Mono Lake that does not use phosphorus as one of its building blocks. Instead, it replaces phosphorus with arsenic. Not only is this interesting in and of itself, but it also suggests a separate evolutionary path. Life that uses arsenic instead of phosphorus is likely to have a different "start" and lead to more complex life that thrives in completely different environments.