the absence of phosphorous.
Relative to: a broken computer, a move, and missing elements of life.
A lot has happened in the past week or so since I’ve been able to post at TRC. Our laptop is now in disrepair, which makes blogging significantly more difficult. On top of such problems, the move has taken a great deal of energy, time, and energy. Leaving one exhausted at the end of the day, with little motivation for posting.
But here is the story I would’ve posted on, at length, had I been around.
I have been geeking on this NASA story since it broke. It is a big story. Potentially. Life-altering, possibly. It just may change everything we know. Scientists have found bacteria which has replaced phosphorous with arsenic, and those bacteria have gone on living, building fundamental components of the organism out of arsenic. Phosphorous has always been considered necessary for any kind of life form (along with carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and sulfur). Life without phosphorous, well, thats a big deal.
Substituting a fundamental element of life creates a new definition of what life is. Making life with toxic chemicals must change our perspective, and there’s nothing I love more than having to alter, on a grand scale, what we think we know. Arsenic is a toxic chemical on this planet, not a life sustaining element. It’s much more science-fiction than science. That’s why NASA made such a hullaballoo over the releasing of the announcement, and the world (of science and space nerds) made such a big deal over the story.