Silicon life forms

Another, threose nucleic acid or TNA, is considered a potential candidate for the mysterious primordial biochemistry that reigned before the dawn of life.

In short, handedness is the characteristic that provides a variety of biomolecules with their ability to recognize and regulate sundry biological processes.

The energy must come from the environment. In the simplest case, carbon-oxygen chains yield polyacetal, a plastic used in synthetic fibers, while from a backbone of alternating atoms of silicon and oxygen come polymeric silicones. Each carbon atom can form four bonds with other atoms, unlocking countless possibilities for building complex molecules.

There is an element sitting very close to carbon in the periodic table which some think could be an alternative chemical basis for life.

The complex dance of life requires interlocking chains of reactions. Could one therefore find silicon-based aliens somewhere in space. All known life on Earth is built upon carbon and carbon-based compounds. Shadow biosphere A shadow biosphere is a hypothetical microbial biosphere of Earth that uses radically different biochemical and molecular processes than currently known life.

Nature, 48, Some of these structures even look alive. While any polymer can store information, RNA and DNA display heredity, encoding and passing on genetic information, and are capable of adapting over time through evolutionary processes.

And the handedness of this surface encouraged the creation of those carbon compounds now preferred in Earth's life-forms. As we wandered through the gallery a thought occurred to me. Despite rivers carrying salt to the oceans from rocks, oceanic salinity remains stable at 3.

Passing potassium vapour over some silica he obtained a dark material that he could then burn and convert back to pure silica. Cronin is said to be hopeful that continued development will show the way.

Older linguistic theories held that language was a kind of parasite, but van Driem holds we exist in a cooperative relationship with the memetic entities inhabiting our brains. We live in a symbiotic relationship with these language organisms: In the search for life on other planets, perhaps the truth will turn out to be stranger than science fiction.

Silicate shards lurk in the spines of nettles waiting to score the soft skin of the unwary hiker and inject minuscule amounts of irritant.

Hypothetical types of biochemistry

However, if the nickel ions had too much energy, the resulting "compound nucleus" would have so much excess energy that it could just undergo fission and fall apart. However, if the nickel ions had too much energy, the resulting "compound nucleus" would have so much excess energy that it could just undergo fission and fall apart.

Given such constraints, carbon can and silicon can't. Silicon can grow into a number of lifelike structures, but its chemistry makes it unlikely that it could be the basis for alien life-forms. I was reminded of these readings a couple of weeks ago when I went to see an exhibition of work by a couple of friends of mine.

As Strobel noted, his findings were in line with the effects Chris McKay had predicted if methanogenic life-forms were present. In his book, The Selfish Gene, Dawkins pointed out that concepts and ideas develop within the brain and spread between people through communication.

When silicon compounds go through the same process, solid silica is produced as a by-product — less easy to remove, although the brick-excreting sci-fi aliens seem to have the answer.

The complex chemistry of carbon is vastly favourable to life under conditions on Earth.

Could silicon be the basis for alien life forms, just as carbon is on Earth?

However, some important differences between the chemistry of silicon and carbon mean that we are unlikely to be invaded by these creatures any time soon. But when carbon oxidizes--or unites with oxygen say, during burning--it becomes the gas carbon dioxide; silicon oxidizes to the solid silicon dioxide, called silica.

Life on earth is predominantly made up of right-hand carbohydrates and left-hand amino acids. They would create thousands of copies of themselves, which would then scatter and search for other star systems.

Once absorbed or ingested, the energy must be released exactly where and when it is needed. But inan international team led by V. Structural elements could well be in threads, like fiberglass, connected by tensor elements to create flexible, delicate, possibly even filmy structures.

There is one thing silicon can do. End promo Help text not available for this section currently Video. Why do they not have the opposite handedness, or both have the same.

Organosilicon The silicon atom has been much discussed as the basis for an alternative biochemical system, because silicon has many chemical properties similar to those of carbon and is in the same group of the periodic tablethe carbon group. On Earth, such organisms would replicate very slowly, and our respective biochemistries would be of no threat to each other.

Paleontologist Peter Ward has developed the rival Medea hypothesis, named for the mother who killed her children in Greek mythology, which states that life is essentially suicidal and self-destructive. Mar 15,  · The idea of silicon-based life is a staple of science fiction and has been used in many places, including Star Trek (property of Paramount) and Doctor Who (property of the BBC).

However, is it. Silicon's importance in aluminium casting is that a significantly high amount (12%) of silicon in aluminium forms a eutectic mixture which solidifies with very little thermal contraction. This greatly reduces tearing and cracks formed from. The possibility of life-forms being based on "alternative" biochemistries is the topic of an ongoing scientific discussion, informed by what is known about extraterrestrial environments and about the chemical behaviour of various elements and compounds.

silicon-based life Silicon life might look like animated crystals, as In this illustration from Dickinson and Schaller's book Extraterrestrials: A Field Guide for Earthlings.

Structural elements could well be in threads, like fiberglass, connected by tensor elements to. Jul 17,  · 10 Hypothetical Forms Of Life. David Tormsen July 17, Share Stumble 4. Tweet. Pin 6 9 Silicon-Based Life. Silicon-based life is perhaps the most common form of alternate biochemistry explored in popular science fiction, most notably in the case of the Horta from Star Trek.

Silicon-Based Life May Be More Than Just Science Fiction Artist rendering of organosilicon-based life. Recent research shows, for the first time, that bacteria can create organosilicon compounds.

Silicon life forms
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The possibility of silicon-based life | Big Picture