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02 December 2010 @ 04:39 pm
Geektastic!  

When I heard this morning NASA had a big announcement about AstroBiology, to be announced at 1PM I was excited, 'cause I'm a geek. It has been a looooong day, so I was ready for some Quality Geeking but this is way cooler than I'd thought it would be!

Arsenic-based lifeforms!

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/universe/features/astrobiology_toxic_chemical.html

I wonder if they smell like garlic...

 
 
 
Albredaalbreda on December 2nd, 2010 11:43 pm (UTC)
Garlic! ;)

Pretty cool, eh? >:)
eithni: ?!?!?!?eithni on December 3rd, 2010 02:45 am (UTC)
Ack, that's right. I'm pleading very long day at work. :P
Albredaalbreda on December 3rd, 2010 01:03 pm (UTC)
You don't need to plead it; you are having a gruesome WEEK!
fibergeekfibergeek on December 3rd, 2010 01:17 am (UTC)
Nope Cyanide smells like almonds (really nasty almonds from eternal-punishment-afterlife-of-your-choice). Arsenic is supposed to smell like garlic. I don't remember if smelling arsenic is a genetic trait that only a portion of the population has like cyanide or if it's something everyone experiences.
naughtyaelfnaughtyaelf on December 3rd, 2010 01:22 am (UTC)
isn't that something people only experience once? ;) totally not licking these creatures. even if they ask nice.
eithni: ?!?!?!?eithni on December 3rd, 2010 02:44 am (UTC)
Ack, that's right. I'm pleading very long day at work. :P
corvusjoyouscorvusjoyous on December 3rd, 2010 02:30 am (UTC)
Yah, I heard about it today too. The grand opening for the Discovery center on campus had the editor of Science as one of their speakers. He snuck it in to the presentation of an example of how scientific knowledge is always changing and you never know what conclusions/innovations/inventions a new idea will lead to...

Makes some interesting possibilities for origins of life theories...
akitromakitrom on December 3rd, 2010 05:36 am (UTC)
It's cool, yes, but (1) I don't see how it's Astro-biology, and (2) I don't see how it has to do with either space or aeronautics.

I do see how NASA would want to keep itself in the news (in a positive way, that doesn't involve diapers) as the shuttle missions are ending and the Republican-led (and science-hostile) congress is looking to slash programs.
Albredaalbreda on December 3rd, 2010 01:07 pm (UTC)
It is definately astrobiology, since now when NASA is looking for signs of life on other worlds, its search parameters have been broadened.

Just like we are finding planets from the doppler shift of light from the suns they pass in front of, we're likely to find life by detecting elements and/or chemicals in certain proportions. Knowing that arsenic could replace phosphorus in those calculations is HUGE.