Thursday, February 19, 2009

Scientists hunt 'shadow biosphere here on Earth'

Forget scouring the cosmos for aliens, "our planet may harbor forms of 'weird life' unrelated to life as we know it," according to a recent BBC report. "This 'shadow life' may be hidden in toxic arsenic lakes or in boiling deep sea hydrothermal vents, he says."

(Actually, please don't forget scouring the cosmos for aliens. Pound360 was just kidding. Scouring the cosmos for life is one of the few things that gets us out of bed in the morning. Yes, we know that is sad.)

Speaking at an American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Chicago, Arizona State University professor Paul Davies is calling for a "mission to Earth" that may expand the tree of life, and possibly connect it to the cosmos. Davies asks, if we discover something new, "how do we know we are dealing with separate Earth genesis and not a Mars genesis?"

(Image courtesy NOAA)

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.