I was also annoyed by most of the reporting. I listened to an interview with the scientist who discovered this, and the story is much, much different from what the general reporting indicated. This was a common bacteria that happened to live in Mono lake. It uses phosphorus as part of its genetic makeup just as all living organisms do. She extracted the phosphorus from its protein and was able to insert arsenic, an element in the same family, just one step heavier on the periodic table. And the modified bacteria was able to survive. It wasn’t a natural different bacteria, only one that had been changed. What this showed was that the five elements, hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, and phosphorus which were believed to be essential for all life on earth, and possibly everywhere, wasn’t quite true because she was able to make a small change and show that life could exist without using phosphorus.