Strolling with a skeptical biochemist
Good work.But what's it with that speculation on further possibilities for alien life if DNA containing As were to be found?That's not a sound quantitative argument at all.Life as we know it incorporates the abundant elements , an abundance derived from stellar nucleosynthesis, i.e. physics. As is much scarcer than P. So there is almost no explanatory or predictive power gained by including As as a possible building block of life.IMHO if NASA really wants to make an honest PR impact, they should do research on the evolution of intelligence. Shedding light on a possible bottleneck in Drake's equation would sharpen our view of space a lot more. http://www.mso.anu.edu.au/~charley/papers/ChopraLineweaver8assc%20proceedings.pdf
Not to mention that the organism under discussion fits easily into exiting phylogenetic charts, so that the arsenic tolerance must be a recent adaptation.
I love the way the voice pronounces "controversy."
As the owner of that voice, I thank you! ;-)
Just for the record, I do have a B.Sc. in Biochemistry from Monash University and an M.Sc. in Biochemistry from McMaster.
I used to attend Ford Doolittle's yearly molecular evolution meetings in Canada. Rosie Redfields presentations were one of the real highlights of the meeting. She never seemed to run out of icons to clast, and very entertainingly too.