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A NASA press release announcing "an astrobiology finding" -- something that will impact the search for extraterrestrial life -- has sent shockwaves through the blogosphere.
The press release simply announces an event, set for Thursday at 2 p.m. EST, to discuss an astrobiology discovery "that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life." Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life in the universe.
And the concept of NASA discussing alien life has everyone a-Twitter. Gawker, PC World, New Scientist and others have all speculated about the news -- even suggesting that the space agency may reveal that E.T. has finally arrived.
The reality may be less dramatic, though still intriguing: Based on the background of the four conference participants NASA cites, the announcement will probably concern lifeforms that live off of poisonous arsenic. Popular blogger Jason Kottke and others have concluded that the announcement will tie into the quest for life on the Martian moon Titan.
"I'd say that they've discovered arsenic on Titan and maybe even detected chemical evidence of bacteria utilizing it for photosynthesis," Kottke theorizes, a hypothesis short of actually confirming alien life.