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Reflections

By: Wally Pacholka

 

Region: Americas

Site: Mono Lake - USA

Date: November 2012

The rising stars of Orion and Gemini are reflected in the calm waters of Mono Lake in California, famous for its stunning exposed tufa towers; limestone formed by the precipitation of carbonate minerals in water. Mono Lake has no outlet and dissolved salts make the lake very alkaline and salty. But the lake has an unusually productive ecosystem. The lake is known world-wide for hosting a strange bacteria which is capable of incorporating the usually poisonous element arsenic into its biochemistry. This alien-like bacteria is the first discovered life-form that uses arsenic to make its DNA and proteins. It is a promising evidence that life might exist elsewhere in the universe, even in environments that biologists once wouldn't have imagined. Wally Pacholka, Astropics.com

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