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Scientists Discover First Multicellular Life That Doesn't Need Oxygen

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posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 10:07 AM
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Scientists discover first multicellular life that doesn't need oxygen

(PhysOrg.com) -- Oxygen may not be the staple of modern complex life that scientists once thought. Until now, the only life forms known to live exclusively in anoxic conditions were viruses, bacteria and Archaea. But in a new study, scientists have discovered three new multicellular marine species that appear to have never lived in aerobic conditions, and never metabolized oxygen. The discovery of the new species, which live buried in sediment under the Mediterranean seafloor, is significant in that it marks the first observation of multicellular organisms, or metazoans, that spend their entire lifecycle under permanently anoxic conditions. A few metazoans have been known to tolerate anoxic conditions, but only for limited periods of time.



Wow! IMHO, the implications of this discovery are astounding. There is a real possibility that the Universe (heck, even our Solar System) is teaming with life. It's just waiting for us to unearth it.

T.




posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 10:16 AM
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One of the problems in looking for life on other planets is our constant focus on our atmosphere and our self-centered thoughts that if we need it to live, so does the rest of the universe.

Surprise! Life may exist in forms unknown to us and we may not be as all-important as some would think!

I think once we get past the "we know everything and how everything would have to work should it exist" we will find a plethora of life and activity in the universe.



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 10:17 AM
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Indeed, it means that life can be found in more places than those with O2 present.

However, this was implicit in theories about life on Jovian moons etc.



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 10:18 AM
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I have just started getting into Science more. Thank you for posting this (S&F).

I think we can get a lot of answers to questions about Space etc right here on our own planet. At least enough to start us thinking about what we may run into when we really start exploring space and running into different life forms (whatever they may be).



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 10:25 AM
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reply to post by buddhasystem
 


I believe that the credible theories hinged on the existence of sub-surface, liquid, water. Liquid water = oxygen.

T.



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 12:30 PM
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The article is a little misleading as more than "a few" animals are known to tolerate anoxic conditions (if only for limited times). For example basically everything that lives at the bottom of shallow lakes of temperate regions tolerates anoxic conditions (that's where many insects start their lives). The interesting part is the speculation that they evolved there and never saw oxygen. I reckon rRNA ought to tell if it's the case or not. Lack of mitochondria just says that they haven't had use for them for a long time..



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 01:10 PM
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reply to post by rhinoceros
 


Straight from the horses mouth:

Provisional PDF

Enjoy!

T.



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 01:49 PM
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I remember learning at school it was life ( what was already right here on Earth) What produced a toxic gas what caused almost all life to be wiped out. This toxic is known as oxygen and the statement that life needs oxygen is a little stupid IMO.
Do chemical based life forms actualy use oxygen ?
Like life found along black smokers at the bottom of the Atlantic. Or Snotites found in caves living on sulfuric acid or something.



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 02:05 PM
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reply to post by Sinter Klaas
 


Well, based on our knowledge at the time; yes complex life required oxygen to survive. Until now we thought those that didn't were limited to simple, single cell, organisms.

T.



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 02:11 PM
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reply to post by Triangulum
 


Can't argue with that.

But how would that life would have looked like now if oxygen was not spread across the Earth ?

Of course we wouldn't have an ozon layer to shield us from radiation, but life is resilient it would have found a way.



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 02:26 PM
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reply to post by Sinter Klaas
 


I suppose the answer depends on whether these organisms have always lived without oxygen or they evolved to survive without it. I'm suspect those answers will be forthcoming.

T.



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 03:08 PM
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reply to post by Triangulum
 


I think you are right. But the answer is probably simple.
All(most) life as we know it evolved to be better fit to survive.
Apperently it seems like this means losing an ability over time in stead of magicly gaining one.

I'm interested anyways



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 03:15 PM
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reply to post by lpowell0627
 


Exactly.

Science is apt to claiming this planet or that is not in the 'goldilocks zone'..too hot or too cold, or wrong atmosphere etc. etc.

How stupid to you have to be, to look for EXO-biological lifeforms only on worlds that follow a terrestrial model?



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 03:19 PM
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reply to post by spikey
 


I can give you an answer on that one.

It's because it's the only sort of life we would recognise.
If Jupiter has life we wouldn't even know it until it kicked us in the face.

Just my two cents.



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 03:23 PM
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reply to post by Triangulum
 

Yeah, it says so in the abstract. I guess that's why it wasn't published in Nature or Science. How the hell can an article go thru peer-review process and have such an obvious mistake in the second sentence?



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 03:56 PM
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reply to post by rhinoceros
 


I don't mean to start an argument here, but do you specifically have a problem with the use of "a few"? Seems a bit picky. Also, the story has been published in Nature.

Animals Thrive Without Oxygen At Sea Bottom

T.



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 04:04 PM
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reply to post by Triangulum
 

Well it's like saying "a few animals eat meat" or "a few animals swim" or something in that spirit. I mean, it's a pretty big mistake, don't you think? Yes, I know Nature is reporting it too, but they would have never published the article (as it is). What were the authors thinking? Clearly they made a huge discovery. Why the hell didn't they prepare the article better and submit it to Nature? It's every scientists wet dream to be published in Nature


[edit on 7-4-2010 by rhinoceros]



posted on Apr, 8 2010 @ 08:52 AM
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Wait to smash some misconceptions! i've been arguing this one for quite a while nice to see some hard evidence thougth. i love science but the one thing i cannot stand is people making daft assumptions and knowware is this more aparant than in the serch for extraterestial life. why would evolution limit itself to carbon chemistry, liquid water or O2 sure it might be easier/more likely but nature makes do with whats avalible. humanity is in for a shock when we take to the stars i wouldent be suprised if the first race we encouter are sentiant machines or something suposedly obsured.



posted on Apr, 8 2010 @ 04:49 PM
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Originally posted by spikey
reply to post by lpowell0627
 


Exactly.

Science is apt to claiming this planet or that is not in the 'goldilocks zone'..too hot or too cold, or wrong atmosphere etc. etc.

How stupid to you have to be, to look for EXO-biological lifeforms only on worlds that follow a terrestrial model?


Well, up until this announcement it's the only model we've had so it's hardly "stupid".



posted on Apr, 8 2010 @ 05:41 PM
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Originally posted by john_bmth

Originally posted by spikey
reply to post by lpowell0627
 


Exactly.

Science is apt to claiming this planet or that is not in the 'goldilocks zone'..too hot or too cold, or wrong atmosphere etc. etc.

How stupid to you have to be, to look for EXO-biological lifeforms only on worlds that follow a terrestrial model?


Well, up until this announcement it's the only model we've had so it's hardly "stupid".

This announcement didn't change anything in regard to goldilocks zone.



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