Earlier this week we learned that NASA was gearing up to share some important information relating to an astrobiological discovery. Of course, our minds immediately turned to aliens. Still, deep down, we knew that NASA would not report that it had found Krypton, ALF, ET, or a Cylon war zone. No, though it would likely be something substantial, it would be altogether much more mundane than actual, real life, extraterrestrial aliens.
NASA's event is still a few hours away, but what would embargoed information be if there wasn't someone prepared to leak it a couple of hours in advance? Thanks to Dutch magazine NOS, we know that NASA has indeed found alien life. It's just not extraterrestrial.
Present in the toxic, arsenic-riddled Mono Lake in California is a type of bacteria with a DNA makeup we never thought possible. That is, the building blocks of life -- carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur – are not all present. As opposed to phosphorus, this bacteria's DNA uses arsenic.
So it's not extraterrestrial life, but it's definitely alien to us, as we thought absolutely everything was made up of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur. The possibility of life outside this tiny, little planet we call home is now much more likely because we're not only looking for things with these specific building blocks.
More information will be available when NASA's press conference officially starts, at 2 p.m., so we'll keep you posted!