Thursday, December 02, 2010

And Old Lace

Well, NASA sure does have the capacity to surprise us all....

I'll just note that one of the people in charge of keeping the secret, Ginger Pinholster of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, has observed that some of the reports out there are "comically erroneous." It's a safe bet that the research being published in the journal Science is not about the discovery of extraterrestrial life itself. Not even Pinholster could keep that secret under wraps.

It's also a safe bet that the research has to do with biochemistry that involves arsenic, which is toxic to life as we know it. That's because one of the featured speakers at the NASA news conference is Felisa Wolfe-Simon, a research at the U.S. Geological Survey who has spent years studying organisms in California's arsenic-rich Mono Lake. Numerous reports have said her research relates to "life as we don't know it."  The big question is just how far down that road Wolfe-Simon and her colleagues have gone.