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Crowdsourced Microbes Heading to Station

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'Arseniclife' bug lacks arsenic in genome's DNA

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Visions of aliens danced in a lot of heads last December, when NASA held a press conference, promising an "astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life."

What scientists disclosed was the discovery of a bacteria, pulled from California's Mono Lake, that added deadly arsenic to the list of six basic elements believed needed for life ā€” carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur and phosphorus. The idea that a microbe could bring poisonous arsenic into its DNA and thrive threw the conventions of biology on its head.

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