Groundbreaking New Form of Life Maybe Doesn’t Exist After All

By
The famed "Tufa" formations will slowly be re-submerged into the briny water where they were formed by an underwater chemical reaction between submerged freshwater springs and salty lake water June 22, 2000 at Mono Lake, near Lee Vining, California. According to reports, NASA has discovered a completely new life form, a bacteria that uses arsenic instead of phosphorus in its DNA.
Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

The science world was turned upside down in December of 2010 when it was announced that a maverick form of bacteria in California's Mono Lake was thriving on arsenic and none of the other six elements (carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorous, and sulfur) considered essential to life. But the claim was viewed skeptically, and now two new buzzkill studies published in Science conclude that the bacteria doesn't subsist on arsenic after all. Scientists remain impressed, however, that some forms of life can survive on Taco Bell alone.