It was news, but not as we know it…

December 2, 2010

wolfesimon1HR.jpgFor days now, Twitter, the blogosphere and even newspaper headlines have been filled with the news – NASA was about to announce something big about extraterrestrial life! But it was embargoed by the journal Science, so no one would know the details until today.

As often happens, those details leaked out early and now we can tell you what it was — bacteria, very much Earthbound bacteria, that can live on arsenic.

Pretty interesting but hardly the life-shattering news that some outlets had teased about. Science has posted its own quick video. And NASA even got a little tongue-in-cheek for its news conference.

“We end a week of fiction,”  NASA’s Dwayne Brown said. “We are not here today to announce that we have found life elsewhere in the Universe.”

Photo credit:  Image courtesy of Science (scanning electron micrograph of strain GFAJ-1)

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