NASA-funded research has uncovered a new life form on Earth, a microorganism that can not only survive but can thrive and reproduce by metabolizing arsenic, a chemical that is highly toxic for most other earthly organisms.
This finding will revolutionize the field of astrobiology—the study of the origins, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe. Astrobiology, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.(www.liebertpub.com), has been the defining journal in this exciting area of study for the last decade. Table of contents and a free sample issue are available at www.liebertpub.com
The new form of life, discovered in Mono Lake in California, a harsh environment with high salt, pH, and arsenic levels, represents a new strain of a common family of bacteria. It is able to substitute arsenic for phosphorus, one of the six basic building blocks of all forms of life on Earth. The microbe utilizes arsenic in place of phosphorus to build critical cell components, including its DNA, proteins, cell membranes, and energy-producing machinery.
"The discovery of a bacterium capable of substituting arsenate for phosphate in essential biomolecules impacts astrobiology in a number of ways," says Sherry L. Cady, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of the peer-reviewed journal Astrobiology and Professor in the Department of Geology at Portland State University. "It is quite astonishing to learn that this life form has the capacity to function in a way no other known life form can. The directed search for this biochemistry, revealed by routine methods, was essential to this find and an important lesson. Astrobiology search strategies for environments that harbor microbes with such biochemistries now increase in a way few have predicted. We are delighted that Astrobiology has been the premier peer-reviewed journal exploring issues surrounding weird life and other provocative findings."
Led by Professor Cady and a prominent international editorial board comprised of esteemed scientists in the field, Astrobiology is the authoritative resource for the most up-to-date information and perspectives on exciting new research findings and discoveries emanating from interplanetary exploration and terrestrial field and laboratory research programs. The Journal is published 10 times a year in print and online, and is the Official Journal of Astrobiology Society (www.abscociety.org). A complete table of contents may be viewed www.liebertpub.com/ast.
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.(www.liebertpub.com) is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 60 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available at our website.
Vicki Cohn | EurekAlert!
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The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
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20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences
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