Thursday, December 02, 2010
Overheard on Arsenic-feeding bacteria


COMMENT OF THE DAY: "That's cool! So now when we build, we have to have aliens in consideration, perhaps an alien hatch or a slime friendly escalator." --jf2


Scientists have discovered a form of bacteria that can thrive largely on arsenic -- an element generally considered toxic -- dramatically expanding both traditional notions of how life is sustained and the range of where it might be found in the universe, NASA funded-researchers announced Thursday.


Arsenic-feeding bacteria expands traditional notions of life


Speculation over alien invasions quickly turned to the science of the announcement after it was made. scorpio53 was feeling impatient, saying, "I'm not a rocket scientist and do not care to be entertained by someone who is. Microbes are one thing and the search of ET may come from this place we call earth. What people want to know is,are we in contact or can we prove that alien life out in the cosmos exists? I do not want to hear about some germ or microbe from a local lake, I want to hear about our neighbors in the sky!" RGTex urged him to be patient.


Rockers1957 wrote, "Life has been discovered here on earth to exist in places that science thought to be impossible. If life does exist elsewhere in the Universe, it probably would be different than us or maybe the same. Anyway, so what is the big news here? I think they are looking for more funding or else they would have not made such a big deal with all of the suspense." dtosh responded, "The life that has been discovered previously was also carbon-based -- like you and me (and allegedly Sarah Palin). This story is big because the bacteria mentioned has a different chemical structure that is Arsenic based. This goes against every living creature in the history of Earth. That's why it's big."


Russia, Qatar win race to host World Cups as FIFA spreads it vision


Runner-up for comment of the day: "I bet Sarah Palin will be pleased that she can watch the games right from her patio." --sweetbella


Russia and Qatar will host soccer's biggest tournament, the FIFA World Cup, for the first time in 2018 and 2022 respectively. Discussion turned to the political situations in both places, as well as the logistics of the games themselves. freeworld007 wrote, "I can understand Russia, but Qatar? The home country automatically qualifies for the world cup. ... Amazing what money can do." TapaDingDong said, "I think the event should be awarded to a needy country." moneywagon2 countered, "Yeah, force some poor country to spend money they don't have on infrastructure they can't afford to maintain." fufu said South Africa surpassed everyone's expectations, and peddymax responded with a complaint about vuvuzelas. Lutzguy said he's been to Qatar and isn't sure how the games will work. "Hot is not the word. When we walked off the airplane at 8 p.m. it was 108 degrees. By mid afternoon the next day it was 116 degrees. You really don't sweat, it evaporates too quickly."


More debate centered around the appreciation of soccer in the United States. "I'm an American and I love soccer. That is right. You heard it here. Some people in the states actually enjoy soccer and it doesn't make us any less of a man," said ricepice. Many Americans stood up for the sport, while some, like HoustonMom, wrote, "Who cares? It's certainly not an interesting sport and a children's game in the U.S." andoverkai called Americans "sore losers," saying, "Seriously what is with all the whiny Americans saying that it's boring and it's just as well because NFL, NBA, NASCAR, whatever is better anyway? You guys do know that the rest of the world does like it, so get over it already."


Defense may rest in Elizabeth Smart kidnapping case


Kidnapping victim Elizabeth Smart left the courtroom abruptly Wednesday during the testimony of defense witness Paul Whitehead, a forensic psychiatrist who treated Brian Mitchell, CNN affiliate KSTU reported. We received lots of comments from readers who thought the defense was out of line, having made what they believed were efforts to paint Smart as a willing participant in her captivity. Lslg4 wrote, "She picked out a name [for a possible baby]? That has people talking? Of course she did. She had been beaten enough times to know she had better play along with his charade lest something worse happen. Yeah, people, like she enjoyed being raped by a sick, dirty, belligerent old man. If this was what they were trying to argue, then I would have stormed off too."


Blue2009 didn't see what the fuss was about. "I don't know why that would make her stomp out of the courtroom.  She was 14 'being held hostage.' I believe it was a fact that she picked out a name in case she had a baby. Where's the shame in that? I can see that people are trying to turn that around into saying she hoped it happened, etc. No person with common sense would see that. I don't think her storming out did her any good. I think it shows she can't face the truth!" Coop5493 responded, "She stomped out because she saw what a mockery we were making of her plight. She saw us paying a psychologist six figures annually to make Mitchell look to be a decent a guy. She saw we are even more empty than she first suspected." Others were eager to see severe punishment. yanochkausa wrote, "What I can't get is how come this man is still alive. ... If she were my child, that man would be found cut up in pieces and he wouldn't have made it long enough to see the trial." JNYC summed up what many others were saying about the case: "We all feel that way. That's why he'll spend the rest of his life behind bars -- so none of us has to act on those feelings."


YOUR TURN: Now that you've read what other people are saying, do you find that your views align with theirs? Think of this as a wishing well in need of your 2 cents. Post a comment below or sound off on video.


Compiled by the moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

December 2, 2010
Click to view kdfjsfl's profile

NASA's discovery is BIG NEWS for any1 interested in searching for life in space!

December 3, 2010
Click to view Nastar823's profile

I think the announcement by NASA is important since it shows how much we still hae learn about life.  The search for extraterrestrial life cant be comprehensive enough unless we have a better understanding of what constitutes life.  These findings also show how much more we have learn about Earth and the origins of life here.  These findings combined with the discovery of other Earth like planets convinces me that its just a matter of time before we do find an extraterrestrial life form.  Well done NASA, this is another giant leap for science!

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