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NASA: Arsenic-eating bacteria suggests extraterrestrial life possible

Los Angeles Times
2 December 2010

Arsenic is notoriously poisonous to almost all forms of life. But an organism found in the mud of California's Mono Lake can live and grow entirely off this deadly chemical -- raising hope that similar creatures could exist in even more hostile environments, far from planet Earth.

The new finding, announced Thursday morning by scientists at NASA-Ames and Menlo Park's U.S. Geological Survey, describes how a bacterium takes a startling detour from normal metabolism, swapping the common element phosphorus for toxic arsenic, and flourishes.

Full story from Los Angeles Times
NASA Astrobiology site