Commentary Magazine


Contentions

A Change, Literally, in the Meaning of the Word “Life”

And so, as we go on in our daily lives and politicians wrangle in Washington, NASA announces what may be the most important news not only of the year, but of the young century:

NASA has discovered a completely new life form that doesn’t share the biological building blocks of anything currently living in planet Earth….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. Discovered in the poisonous Mono Lake, California, this bacteria is made of arsenic, something that was thought to be completely impossible.

A thousand years from now, this may be the only thing people will know about the year 2010.



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