London: NASA scientists have made a major discovery that could boost the chance of finding extraterrestrial life on other worlds.
They have found microbes in a deadly poisonous arsenic lake deadly poisonous lake, reports the Sun.
Researchers, amazed that anything could thrive in the toxic liquid, said the microbes proved a second form of life started on Earth in environments previously thought too hostile.
It opens up the possibility that extraterrestrial aliens like the one from the 1982 movie can exist in the solar system.
Geobiologist Felisa Wolfe-Simon made the breakthrough discovery during two years, probing Mono Lake in California''s Yosemite National Park - which has one of the highest natural concentrations of arsenic on Earth.
She will be among NASA-backed experts explaining the findings on Thursday.
Others include ecologist James Elser, who researches the possibility of ET creatures on other planets. Scientists looking for life on Mars and Saturn''s largest moon Titan will also speak.
Basic forms of life found before all rely on phosphorous to exist.
“This is exciting. If these organisms use arsenic in their metabolism, it demonstrates that there are other forms of life to those we knew of,” said astrobiologist Dr Lewis Dartnell, of the Centre for Planetary Sciences, in London.
First Published: Wednesday, December 01, 2010, 13:01