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Old 04-11-2010, 03:14 PM #1
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Oxygen Shmoxygen

Think oxygen is a requirement for multicellular life? Think again. As ScienceNow reports, a team of Danish and Italian researchers have discovered the first anaerobic multicellular organisms in the depths of the Mediterranean Sea. The organisms, dubbed Loricifera, live in a basin made up of salt brine "so dense that it doesn't mix with the oxygen-containing waters above."

ScienceNow's story includes more juicy details:

The researchers also found examples of individuals that contained eggs and evidence of apparent molting, which led them to conclude that the animals spend their whole lives in the harsh sediments. The creature's cells apparently lack mitochondria, the organelles that use oxygen to power a cell. Instead they are rich in what seem to be hydrogenosomes, organelles that can do a similar job in anaerobic (or oxygen free) environments.
If you can grasp talk of prokaryotes, protozoa, eukaryotes, and metazoans, the full study (including images) is available in PDF format through this page on the BMC Biology website.

Link

Kinda throws a wrench in the whole "no planets that can support life" idea.
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Old 04-11-2010, 03:25 PM #2
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Kinda throws a wrench in the whole "no planets that can support life" idea.
I don't know of any credible astronomer that would suggest there is no possibility for other planets capable of supporting oxygen-based life.

But this certainly opens the horizons quite a bit
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Old 04-11-2010, 06:01 PM #3
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I don't know of any credible astronomer that would suggest there is no possibility for other planets capable of supporting oxygen-based life.
We have been searching the skies for 40 years looking for "conditions that could support life" and havent found much of anything. This changes the whole ball game.
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Old 04-11-2010, 06:34 PM #4
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We've only had the techniques to detect exoplanets for about 15 years. We've discovered several that may support life, but we have no way of knowing if life actually exists on them. Problem is that most life supporting planets would likely be smaller in size (similar to Earth/Mars/Venus), but those have a very small effect on the mother star's wobble; so little so that we can't tell if it's merely experimental error.

Also, this is just the first anaerobic MULTIcellular life discovered. We've known of anaerobic bacteria and archeae for at least 100 years now, so the affect on the search is minimal at best.
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Old 04-11-2010, 08:01 PM #5
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Also, this is just the first anaerobic MULTIcellular life discovered. We've known of anaerobic bacteria and archeae for at least 100 years now, so the affect on the search is minimal at best.
I was just going to say, I know there are things that exist which are anaerobic.
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Old 04-11-2010, 10:11 PM #6
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I realize this isnt like discovering America but a step is still step. Whats with all the negativity?
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Old 04-11-2010, 10:29 PM #7
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Whats with all the negativity?
On this little sub-forum? I'm pretty sure it's a requirement.

Heck, you can make a post containing premature ejaculation joke and humorously implying a major religious figure is a gay wiper and you'd still get people using it as a reason to be negative.

Good example of natural selection if you think about it.
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Old 04-12-2010, 08:22 AM #8
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If you ask me there is probably life on mars, or at least remains of life. On the hottest summer day you could walk around in a tee shirt granted adequate oxygen.
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:40 AM #9
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While that's great and all, I think the main requirement for life is liquid water.

Find an organism that doesn't use water, and then we'll talk.
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:57 AM #10
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While that's great and all, I think the main requirement for life is liquid water.

Find an organism that doesn't use water, and then we'll talk.
Life requires water to live as it evolved ON OUR PLANET. Life could have evolved in very different, even inconcievable ways on other planets.
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Old 04-12-2010, 11:03 AM #11
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Life requires water to live as it evolved ON OUR PLANET. Life could have evolved in very different, even inconcievable ways on other planets.
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Old 04-12-2010, 02:40 PM #12
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Life requires water to live as it evolved ON OUR PLANET. Life could have evolved in very different, even inconcievable ways on other planets.
Great? I don't see your point.

We're talking about life as we know it. Are there places on this earth that are void of water? Yet all organisms require water. We can infer, that since every life-form we've come across requires water, that every life-form requires water. By your line of thinking, you could also consider that they have entirely different elements than us. Maybe instead they don't use matter at all, they're an omnipotent force which watches over us and makes sure we don't have sex.

If you saw a planet filled with liquid water, and a barren meteor-scarred mercury, which one would you place your money on? Which one is worth a second look?

The fact that an anaerobic multicellular organism exists is great, but it doesn't say huge volumes about what extraterrestrial life is like. While it's significant, that life can "thrive" in different conditions than we're used to, we'll still be looking at planets with liquid water, oxic or anoxic isn't really a consideration. Any form of life would be remarkable. If we find one that doesn't use water, that would be even better. But until then, we'll be searching on planets that have liquid water, without consideration of oxygen content.
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Old 04-12-2010, 02:47 PM #13
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Maybe instead they don't use matter at all, they're an omnipotent force which watches over us and makes sure we don't have sex.
Damn them. Damn them to hell.

Oh, and we may not have to look for liquid water, MVP, but water in any form be it ice or vapor. But I get what you're saying - water which is accessible to life forms (which may exclude some ice planets).

Also, we have what we consider "green zones" around stars which is where we'd spend 90% of our time looking for living beings. This is because, as MVP said, we take what we're most familiar with and use that as a basis for exploration.
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Old 04-12-2010, 05:43 PM #14
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Plants?
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:03 PM #15
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Plants?
Need Oxygen
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:28 PM #16
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Plants?
lol not really sure who that was directed to
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:50 PM #17
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Hey, MVP, go respond in the philosophy thread
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Old 04-13-2010, 08:16 AM #18
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lol not really sure who that was directed to
"Think oxygen is a requirement for multicellular life?" Plants are a form of "multicellular life".

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Need Oxygen
Oh? Which process would you be referring to?

Photosynthesis is as follows:

6 CO2 + 6 H2O → C6H12O6 + 6 O2
Carbon dioxide + Water + Light energy → Glucose + Oxygen
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:45 AM #19
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And this relates to religion, how exactly?
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:52 AM #20
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And this relates to religion, how exactly?
Because we like talking about science in here, shush.
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:58 AM #21
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Oxygen is a requirement for cellular respiration in both plants and animals. While it's true that plants produce oxygen as a by-product of photosynthesis, they also require oxygen when photosynthesis isn't occurring. They obtain this oxygen through tiny openings in the leaves called stomata.


Quote:
We're talking about life as we know it. Are there places on this earth that are void of water? Yet all organisms require water. We can infer, that since every life-form we've come across requires water, that every life-form requires water. By your line of thinking, you could also consider that they have entirely different elements than us. Maybe instead they don't use matter at all, they're an omnipotent force which watches over us and makes sure we don't have sex.

If you saw a planet filled with liquid water, and a barren meteor-scarred mercury, which one would you place your money on? Which one is worth a second look?

The fact that an anaerobic multicellular organism exists is great, but it doesn't say huge volumes about what extraterrestrial life is like. While it's significant, that life can "thrive" in different conditions than we're used to, we'll still be looking at planets with liquid water, oxic or anoxic isn't really a consideration. Any form of life would be remarkable. If we find one that doesn't use water, that would be even better. But until then, we'll be searching on planets that have liquid water, without consideration of oxygen content.
All organisms require water because the first life on earth evolved in a watery environment. Life elsewhere could have evolved in any environment and use any elements (why not silicon instead of carbon?). I agree we start looking for life as we know it, we can't do anything else, but extraterrestrial life may in fact be so different that we don't recognize it as life at all.
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