Bacteria and Old Lace

The news is out on NASA’s recent exciting discovery.  No, it’s not alien life on Titan, and  it’s not the answer to David Bowie’s question about life on Mars either.  It’s pretty amazing, though, and might well change things for writers of hard science fiction.

Gizmodo reports that bacteria whose DNA is made with arsenic in place of phosphorus have been found at Mono Lake in CA.  This changes a lot about our understanding of how life can operate.  The official NASA announcement is not out yet, but it will probably provide a lot of rich material for SF authors to use in future books.

On a personal note, I remember from my California days that “Save Mono Lake” bumper stickers were popular.  I’m glad we saved as much of it as we could.  A photographer friend of mine, Joe Decker, has a photo gallery of the natural beauty of Mono Lake, though none of us knew it would hold such an amazing secret.

Twin Tufa

Twin Tufa • Mono Lake State Tufa Reserve, California • January 2003 • Joe Decker/Rock Slide Photography

2 thoughts on “Bacteria and Old Lace

  1. Carl

    It’s amazing what we can learn from the unique places on this planet if only we have the wisdom to not bulldoze them for the sake of yet another Walmart.

  2. Kitti

    Hooray for preservation of wildlife and habitats! This makes it worth the trouble, now doesn’t it? :)

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