At their conference today, NASA scientist Felisa Wolfe Simon shall announce that they have found a bacteria whose DNA is completely alien to what we know today. Instead of using phosphorus, the bacteria uses arsenic. All life on Earth is made of six components: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur. Every being, from the smallest amoeba to the largest whale, share the same life stream. Our DNA blocks are all the same. Yep. At least, if you believe in that sort of koo-koo evolution nonsense.
But this sucker isn't like 'us' or the rest of the life on earth.... This one is completely different. An oddball. We knew that there were bacteria that processed arsenic, but this bacteria—discovered in the poisonous Mono Lake, California—is actually made of arsenic. The phosphorus is absent from its DNA. The implications of this discovery are enormous to our understanding of life itself and the possibility of finding beings in other planets that don't have to be like planet Earth. Whoa...!
Now again, life hasn't been found in another planet, BUT this discovery changes our assumptions about everything we know about biology.
Oh, and yesterday there was an announcement on the discovery of a massive number of red dwarf stars, which may harbor a trillion Earths, dramatically increasing our chances of finding extraterrestrial life.