This is what extraterrestrial life looks like?

Liz Goodwin
December 2, 2010

A strange form of bacteria that uses arsenic as one of its nutrients has redefined the search for life on other planets, scientists say. Dr. Felisa Wolfe-Simon from the U.S. Geological Survey discovered this bacteria in Mono Lake, Calif. The strain proves that living things don't all need some form of phosphorous, carbon and other basic elements to survive -- a breakthrough that will force NASA to redefine how it searches for signs of life in the universe.

(Scan of the bacteria strain GFAJ-1: AP via Science.)