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Author Topic: "The definition of life has just expanded"  (Read 30350 times)

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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #1 on: 03 Dec 2010, 01:48 »

yesssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

I want to still be alive when they find life on another planet.  I don't give a fuck what it is, microbes, lichen, whatevs.  Just something to show we're not the only ones out here.
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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #2 on: 03 Dec 2010, 01:51 »

God damn, I love science.  Especially really incredible things like this.  I always love reading about things like this because science is the kind of branch of study where, when a discovery is made that alters fundamental principles, the biggest intellectuals in the field are right alongside everybody else, going all "man, can you believe this?"
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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #3 on: 03 Dec 2010, 01:54 »

Yeah, my friends and I were arguing this morning about whether this bacteria shit must be extraterrestrial (it mustn't). However, I am glad people are finally going "wait, you mean all life ever isn't necessarily carbon based?!?!  :psyduck:"
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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #4 on: 03 Dec 2010, 03:19 »

So goddamned cool
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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #5 on: 03 Dec 2010, 03:28 »


d'awwwww

I wonder how this thing is going to be classified once they've officially scientifically described it and such.
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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #6 on: 03 Dec 2010, 03:59 »

"wait, you mean all life ever isn't necessarily carbon based?!?!"

Unfortunately these aren't the silicon-based lifeforms you'll sometimes see in science fiction. Still, very amazing.

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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #7 on: 03 Dec 2010, 04:09 »

We have found a lot of those in California, though.
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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #8 on: 03 Dec 2010, 04:38 »

Unfortunately these aren't the silicon-based lifeforms you'll sometimes see in science fiction. Still, very amazing.

Silicon-based life only really works at temperatures and pressures radically different from the surface of the earth. It's conceivable such life could live deep down in the earths crust, but if it's weird enough we might have trouble even recognising it as life.
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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #9 on: 03 Dec 2010, 04:52 »

This is awesome!
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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #10 on: 03 Dec 2010, 05:09 »

I think we need to declare war on these aliens as soon as possible.
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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #11 on: 03 Dec 2010, 05:13 »

if it's weird enough we might have trouble even recognising it as life.

I once new a girl who wrote a story called "Little Green Men" about an alien spaceship landing but all that came out was some weird slime that scientists stuck in canisters and forgot about. It was a clever little story.

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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #12 on: 03 Dec 2010, 05:24 »

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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #13 on: 03 Dec 2010, 05:28 »

He's finally loosing his mind.
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One minute we're playing Mario Kart, the next my penis is in your mouth - it just happens.

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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #14 on: 03 Dec 2010, 05:29 »

Theirs no hope.
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One minute we're playing Mario Kart, the next my penis is in your mouth - it just happens.

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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #15 on: 03 Dec 2010, 05:36 »

Maybe the arsenicoforms are controlling his mind.
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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #16 on: 03 Dec 2010, 05:37 »

Maybe they're coming for you next.
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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #17 on: 03 Dec 2010, 05:37 »

Lately I've noticed a dramatic increase in the number of typos in emails and other things I type. I think I spend less time double-checking my typing these days, which is oddly satisfying to me. It's like, not having enough time to check my spelling validates me as a person.

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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #18 on: 03 Dec 2010, 05:42 »

I guess when you have less and less time left on this Earth, it becomes important to work quickly.
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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #19 on: 03 Dec 2010, 05:48 »

It's like, not having enough time to check my spelling validates me as a person.

Validates you as an arsenic-munching bacteria drone, you mean.
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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #20 on: 03 Dec 2010, 06:08 »


d'awwwww

Jeez guys, we're getting all riled up about a few slices of olive loaf?

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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #21 on: 03 Dec 2010, 06:16 »

Arsenic based sludge discovered, will marry before Joe Hocking.
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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #22 on: 03 Dec 2010, 09:19 »

hehe i saw this and showed it to my mom and she was like huh? what's so cool about that. she completley missed the point. i think it is great that we now have proof that life doesn't have to be made of very specific mix of atoms and molecules
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Ozymandias

Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #23 on: 03 Dec 2010, 09:34 »

Well, no, it's just that the very specific mix is a little bit more inclusive. All known life still requires carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, and sulfur. It's just that we now have proof phosphorous can be replaced with arsenic. It's really cool, but not destroying the fundamental basis of organic chemistry here.
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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #24 on: 03 Dec 2010, 11:34 »

i know, it's just that this proves that there are other ways life could evolve, for all we know there could be another planet where all life evolved with arsenic instead of phosphorous, and that would be pretty coo but deadly for us
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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #25 on: 03 Dec 2010, 11:58 »

call me when there's a life form that subs out phosphorous for old lace
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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #26 on: 03 Dec 2010, 12:03 »

I'm predicting the first appearance of phosphorous-free life fetishists very soon, if they aren't here already


"oh baby watching you photosynthesize that poison gets me so hot. My microscope is getting all foggy"
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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #27 on: 03 Dec 2010, 12:21 »

hooray for rule 34!   :psyduck:
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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #28 on: 03 Dec 2010, 12:31 »

Arsenic is poisonous to humans, so...  Does this mean I can't eat it?
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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #29 on: 03 Dec 2010, 12:32 »

call me when there's a life form that subs out phosphorous for old lace

Can't work out if this is a Runaways joke or not.
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scarred

Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #30 on: 03 Dec 2010, 12:33 »

I thought it was a play on Arsenic and Old Lace?
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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #31 on: 03 Dec 2010, 12:36 »

Dear old Terence Rattigan... - I did lighting for that as the house play one year at school (i.e. a very long time ago, using real rheostats).
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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #32 on: 03 Dec 2010, 12:40 »

I thought it was a play on Arsenic and Old Lace?

It is but it can be both.

I was going to make a Runaways joke but I couldn't work out if JC had already made it so I guess I'm bailing.
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Quote from: Ozymandias
One minute we're playing Mario Kart, the next my penis is in your mouth - it just happens.

Ozymandias

Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #33 on: 03 Dec 2010, 14:29 »

i know, it's just that this proves that there are other ways life could evolve, for all we know there could be another planet where all life evolved with arsenic instead of phosphorous, and that would be pretty coo but deadly for us

Doesn't necessarily mean that either, since these organisms likely evolved from previous phosphorus organisms, which evolved in the standard Earth-like environment of...Earth. At best, this proves that life could continue in a phosphorus-free, arsenic-rich environment  since, uh...that's exactly what happened.
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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #34 on: 03 Dec 2010, 15:17 »

Arsenic based sludge discovered, will marry before Joe Hocking.
Only in states that allow single-sex marriage... :wink:  Bacteria only have one sex, or no sex, depending on how you look at it.
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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #35 on: 03 Dec 2010, 15:58 »

Arsenic is the new phosphorous and sexlessness is the new sexy.
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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #36 on: 03 Dec 2010, 16:08 »

I thought it was a play on Arsenic and Old Lace?

It is but it can be both.

I was going to make a Runaways joke but I couldn't work out if JC had already made it so I guess I'm bailing.

i don't read runaways
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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #37 on: 03 Dec 2010, 16:48 »

i know, it's just that this proves that there are other ways life could evolve, for all we know there could be another planet where all life evolved with arsenic instead of phosphorous

Believe this is the plot of the movie Evolution.
Remember that movie? with David Duchovney and that black guy from MadTV (I think).
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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #38 on: 03 Dec 2010, 17:10 »

and like 40 episodes of the x-files
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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #39 on: 04 Dec 2010, 00:21 »

I think I heard somewhere that this organism they found still does use phosphorous, just that it subbed MOST of it out for arsenic. I could very well be wrong about that though!

I think this is an important discovery, but to me it's kind of like "Well... yeah, of course life can work differently than expected." It's just proof for something that's common sense in my mind.
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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #40 on: 04 Dec 2010, 05:36 »

According to the article, it thrived even after the scientist-dudes removed all phosphorous from it's environment, so yeah.
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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #41 on: 04 Dec 2010, 06:37 »

To me the most important and awesome consequence of this discovery is that it means that it has changed how we will search for extraterrestrial life in future. It used to be that when it was thought that it took oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, sulfur and phosphorous to make life, and that that was the only way to make life, that was what was being searched for on other planets. Now arsenic is in the mix, and because it seems the reason phosphorous was so easily replaced by arsenic is because of their similar atomic weights, it becomes plausible that there are many other elements that'd do the job as well. I really don't think it's hyperbole to call this a game changer, it's basically throwing the doors wide open with regards to what constitutes life and how this affects the odds that there really is something else out there.
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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #42 on: 04 Dec 2010, 07:19 »

It's really cool, but not destroying the fundamental basis of organic chemistry here.

I know what you mean here but just a little semantic quibble: organic chemistry is not actually the chemistry of living things. That would be biochemistry. Organic chemistry is basically defined as "the chemistry of carbon compounds" (like the chemistry behind oil or alcohol or drugs.) So pretty much by definition organic chemistry wouldn't be changed by discovering new life forms.
« Last Edit: 04 Dec 2010, 07:22 by jhocking »
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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #43 on: 04 Dec 2010, 07:39 »

What about orgasmic chemistry.

I can expand the definition of that if anyone wants to roll around to my Fortress of Love.
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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #44 on: 04 Dec 2010, 07:39 »



Come on in yeaaaaaah.
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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #45 on: 04 Dec 2010, 16:00 »

Come on in yeaaaaaah.
That might be the scariest image I've seen this week. I bet the algae have already become sentient, and they'll be applying to join the UN next Thursday.
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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #46 on: 04 Dec 2010, 16:53 »

Come on in yeaaaaaah.

I guess a giant zombie or something orgasm'd on it?
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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #47 on: 06 Dec 2010, 03:08 »

This was NOT arsenic-based life.

This was a form of bacteria in an arsenic-resistant family(? some kind of group) which was discovered to be able to replace much of the phosphorus in its biology with arsenic. There were still phosphorus impurites in this experimental group.

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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #48 on: 06 Dec 2010, 03:18 »

What about orgasmic chemistry.

I can expand the definition of that if anyone wants to roll around to my Fortress of Love.

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What about orgasmic chemistry.

I can expand the definition of that if anyone wants to roll around to my Fortress of Love.

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Re: "The definition of life has just expanded"
« Reply #49 on: 06 Dec 2010, 03:23 »

i heared this on radio.
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