Strange Earthly Life-Form Means Rethinking the Hunt for ET

With a much-anticipated NASA announcement Thursday, “The Devil in the Dark” is no longer the name of actor William Shatner’s favorite original “Star Trek” episode, about a man-eating subterranean monster made ofcells based on silicon rather than carbon. Rather, it’s a newly discovered bacteria that consumes arsenic to grow and reproduce. And unlike author Michael Crichton’s deadly Andromeda Strain, Strain GFAJ-1 isn’t dangerous and didn’t come from outer space, but from Mother Earth herself — in the dark depths of California’s Mono Lake.

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