NASA’s Critters Underwhelm…. Unless You’re A Bacteria Nerd

Damn. NASA didn’t blow the lid off the Area 51 conspiracy today. What a surprise. And such a letdown. I thought for sure this was going to be the day the field of ufology was finally vindicated.

Instead, we get the critters at right. Here’s how PZ Myers, biologist and wet blanket, explains the big discovery….

It’s an extremophile bacterium that can be coaxed into substiting arsenic for phosphorus in some of its basic biochemistry. It’s perfectly reasonable and interesting work in its own right, but it’s not radical, it’s not particularly surprising, and it’s especially not extraterrestrial. It’s the kind of thing that will get a sentence or three in biochemistry textbooks in the future.

So… all the rumors were overblown. sigh. But if you’re still wondering what to make of NASA’s press conference — and some of it was kinda cool once you got past the initial disappointment — Myers’ blog post on the subject is a great read.

Author: Paul Dechene

Paul Dechene is 5'10'' tall and he was born in a place. He's not there now. He's sitting in front of his computer writing his bio for this blog. He has a song stuck in his head. It's "Girl From Ipanema", thanks for asking. You can follow Paul on Twitter at @pauldechene and get live updates during city council meetings and other city events at @PDcityhall.