I found this little tidbit about a new arsenic based life form that was discovered by NASA. This is actually a pretty big deal. If you know a little about basic biology, you know that all lifeforms that we previously knew about, from bacteria to humans, was carbon based. This was theoretically possible but scientists were unable to do much other than speculate.
As Gizmodo put it:
At their conference today, NASA scientist Felisa Wolfe Simon will announce that they have found a bacteria whose DNA is completely alien to what we know today. Instead of using phosphorus, the bacteria uses arsenic. All life on Earth is made of six components: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur. Every being, from the smallest amoeba to the largest whale, share the same life stream. Our DNA blocks are all the same.
But not this one. This one is completely different. We knew that there were bacteria that processed arsenic, but this bacteria—discovered in the poisonous Mono Lake, California—is actually made of arsenic. The phosphorus is absent from its DNA. The implications of this discovery are enormous to our understanding of life itself and the possibility of finding beings in other planets that don't have to be like planet Earth.
This opens a lot of possibilities in my opinion. This makes the likelihood of finding life in planets that we would find inhospitable a lot higher.
What do you think?