...by finding alien life on earth.
OK. Not the best headline (that honor goes to blogger Michael at Deeps of Time, surely!), but with more interesting goals moved to the back burner, and the burden of being a government entity, a NASA press conference on astrobiology (a field, my astronomy professor told me, that was a bit limited, when I expressed an interest) caused a good deal of speculation on the 'net. Just google for some of the speculations...life on Titan, life on Mars (there is legitimate research going on to study both environments), and, of course, there are folks like this (youtube link) who know they are out there.
But it turns out that a bacterium in a lake on earth can use arsenic instead of phosphorus when it needs to do so. That's interesting. As a biologist with an interest in exobiology, I love this sort of thing. But I also feel a bit cheated by NASA. I mean, they let the rumors fly; it just seems a bit unprofessional.
Do read the synopsis at Deeps of Time. It's a Catholic blog worth a book mark.
Can I possibly post on this without a few book recommendations (just for fun)? Not likely. ;)
Out of the Silent Planet
Rendezvous with Rama