It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Never mind aliens in outer space. Some scientists believe we may be sharing the planet with ‘weird’ lifeforms that are so different from our own they’re invisible to us.
Across the world’s great deserts, a mysterious sheen has been found on boulders and rock faces. These layers of manganese, arsenic and silica are known as desert varnish and they are found in the Atacama desert in Chile, the Mojave desert in California, and in many other arid places. They can make the desert glitter with surprising colour and, by scraping off pieces of varnish, native people have created intriguing symbols and images on rock walls and surfaces.
Professor Carol Cleland, of Colorado University, has a very different suggestion. She believes desert varnish could be the manifestation of an alternative, invisible biological world. Cleland, a philosopher based at the university’s astrobiology centre, calls this ethereal dimension the shadow biosphere. “The idea is straightforward,” she says. “On Earth we may be co-inhabiting with microbial lifeforms that have a completely different biochemistry from the one shared by life as we currently know it.”
Prompted by debate about the possible existence of a shadow biosphere, Wolfe-Simon set out specifically to see whether microbes that lived in California's briny, arsenic-filled Mono Lake naturally used arsenic instead of phosphorus for basic cellular functions, or were able to replace the phosphorus with arsenic.
She took mud from the lake into the lab and began growing bacteria in Petri dishes. She fed them sugars and vitamins but replaced phosphate salt with arsenic until the surviving bacteria could grow without needing the phosphates at all. Her research found that some of the bacteria had arsenic embedded into their DNA, RNA and other basic underpinnings.
"If something here on Earth can do something so unexpected - that breaks the unity of biochemistry - what else can life do that we haven't seen yet?" said Wolfe-Simon, a NASA Astrobiology Research Fellow and member of the National Astrobiology Institute team at Arizona State University.
Philosophers and scientists traditionally focus upon two characteristics that distinguish a living system from a nonliving system. First, the capacity of a system to maintain itself as self-organized unit against both internal and external perturbations. And second, the ability to reproduce and transmit to its descendants adaptive heritable modifications. Molecular biology provides an account of how our familiar Earth life realizes these abstract functional properties in a concrete physical system. Life as we know it on Earth today is based upon a complex cooperative arrangement between proteins and nucleic acids. Proteins supply the bulk of the structural material for building bodies, as well as the catalytic material for powering and maintaining them. Nucleic acids store the hereditary information required for reproduction and for synthesizing the enormous quantity and variety of proteins required by an organism during its life span.
Originally posted by Guyfriday
This makes a lot of sense to me, it would explain a lot of the Shadow People encounters around the world.
Originally posted by MaxSteiner
They don't mean shadow based life when they say shadow biosphere though do they?
Shadow Government doesn't mean shadow people run it.
I think this article about arsenic based life found in Yosemite is pertinent to the discussion:
if life can evolve twice on earth, why no another time?
The simplest life forms to detect, and believe are simple lifeforms. After all we humans sprouted out from simple one celled life forms. The part of this that excites me is that science is still looking into the possibility that we live here on Earth in junction with a completely different life form.
Originally posted by AceWombat04
I would caution against extrapolating from the hypothesis that there might be microorganisms which incorporate arsenic into their DNA, to arrive at the much less well supported position that this hypothesis might lend support to belief in complex ethereal or alien beings living among us. The evidence for even the microbial hypothesis is controversial and in question. More research seems necessary. And there is no evidence in the research to suggest that this model could apply to more complex life forms hiding in plain sight (although I suppose it is within the realm of extremely speculative conceivability. Beyond that you get into personal belief, not science found in this research. Which is fine of course, but we must be careful to distinguish between the two.)