Despite everything that SF films teach us, living beings outside of the Earth will certainly not look like humans. And these scientists went a step further and changed even the elementary settings – the very chemical of organic compounds or the fundamental force of the universe. The result?
Well, crazy than the most fantastic science-fiction films. And what is most beautiful of all, a good deal of these living beings is so different that they would not recognize them even if they were standing in front of us.
Heather Smith from the Interassynonical Astronomical University in Stassbourg and Chris McKay from NASA have published a paper in which they speculate about living beings based on methane or methanogens. They would consume hydrogen, acetylene and ethane, and exhaled methane. Such creatures could also populate places in our neighborhood that are now considered to be deserted, for example Saturn’s Titan satellite. As on Earth, Titan’s atmosphere is mostly nitrogen, but is mixed with methane. In addition, Titan is the only place in the solar system with surface currents – lakes and rivers of methane and ethane blends (groundwater also exists on Titanium, Enkelad as well as on Jupiter’s satellite in Europe). Liquid is considered a prerequisite for the development of life, because it allows the necessary modification of organic molecules. Most commonly, traces of liquid water, but interaction of molecules is also possible in ethanol and methane. ESA and NASA mission Cassini-Huygens 2004 recorded a turbulent world with temperatures of -179 degrees Celsius, where water is captured in ice and methane flows into rivers. The team of chemical technologists and astronomers in 2015 has devised a theoretical cell membrane made up of small organic compounds of nitrogen that would function in Titan’s liquid methane and had the same stability and flexibility as earth’s liposomes. The most important molecule was acrylonitrile with nitrogen. Acrylonitrile, a colorless and poisonous organic molecule that is used in acrylic fibers and thermocouples, has already been found in Titan’s atmosphere. The implications of the theory are pretty – not just that life could come about on Titan, but we could find it relatively easy to find it, following the levels of hydrogen, acetylene and ethane in the atmosphere.
2. Silicon life
The topic that appeared in multiple ZF stories, and the thesis is pretty simple – silicon is quite similar to carbon and can create numerous compounds, and besides that it is quite common – after oxygen is the second most common element in the earth. Even there is a kind of algae which uses silicon in its growth. But there is one key maneuver (in relation to carbon) – carbon compounds contain oxygen and nitrogen that produce quite strong bonds while more complex silicon compounds tend to decompose. Silicon life could hardly arise in a Earth-like environment because most silicon would be bound in silicate rocks. Extreme conditions, such as those on Titan, could support living silicon-based living creatures (for example, creating a substrate for the aforementioned methanogen), for example, by virtue of silane (a compound that is identical to methane only with silicon instead of carbon) and a polysilane that mimics organic molecules. But Titanium’s surface is abundant with carbon, and most of the silicon is deep in the center of the satellite. NASA’s astro concierge Max Bernstein speculates that silicon life might exist on extremely hot planets with an atmosphere rich in hydrogen and poor oxygen. Such conditions enabled complex silane compounds with reversible connections to selenium and telovirus. But even he thinks such conditions are incredibly rare. Still, he was playing with a thesis and how this life would work on Earth. Such creatures would be incredibly sluggish, and by virtue of a completely different chemistry we would not be able to infect them (or us). After all, we would be rather unattractive, rather than eating glass from our buildings, bricks, (and desert chips).
3. Other Alternative Biochemistry
Apart from silicon, chemists entertain the idea of a host of other elements that could take on the role of carbon. The wine also creates bonds with strong curing links. Thus, a series of hydrides of different structures are formed in which the molecules are linked by a hydrogen bond. It can, just like carbon, bond with nitrogen and create compounds whose properties are similar to alkanes, the simplest organic compounds. The biggest problem with this thesis is that the wine is quite rare in the universe. Life-based life would be most likely to be on planets and satellites where the temperature is low enough for the ammonia to be liquid. This solvent would make chemical reactions with a more balanced pear. The second element that is under the ankle of an astrochemist is arsenic. Mg CHOPKINS with chopped coffee (CaFe, NaCl) is a mnemonical trick to memorize life-saving elements and the main ones are carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur. But 2010 biologists have found a GFAJ-1 bacterium that incorporates arsenic into the cells, an element poisoned for everything that lives on our planet apart from a few microorganisms. Scientists entertain the idea of life that uses ammonia as the earth’s life uses water. Biochemistry based on nitrogen and hydrogen compounds would use ammonia as a solvent to allow the formation of proteins, nucleic acids and polypeptides. But the problem is that such creatures are very easy to either boil or freeze. There is a small range in which ammonia is running – while water (at atmospheric pressure) has 100 degrees difference between melting point and boiling point, ammonia freezes to -78 ° C and ends at -33 degrees Celsius. An added problem is that solid ammonia is denser than liquid (while water is the worst at 4 degrees) so the organism will freeze in a moment. However, in theory, single-celled ammonia would be possible even in gigantic giants like Jupiter. It is believed that sulfur was the basis for the metabolism of the first organisms on Earth (before the atmosphere was oxygen), and in extreme environments there are still organisms that use that element. On some other planets, such creatures might have won in an evolution race, instead of “oxygen”.
In the book Selfish Gen, Richard Dawkins’s life has compared the idea to life. All life evolves, reproducing with certain variations in the environment where progress and natural selection are possible. Equally, ideas are generated within the brain and are widespread (reproduced) by communication, and with each transmission slightly changing. How this behavior is incredibly similar to what the genes make them call it “memi”. Much has existed before people, such as bird singing or learned behaviors in monkeys transmitted among generations. When man developed the ability of abstract thinking, memories developed further, just like the invention of a letter, spreading memetic information such as broader biological genes. For some, it is only an interesting analogy, but others claim that they are unique (albeit quite simple and limited) forms of life. George van Driem has even developed the theory of symbiosis, which claims that language has its own life. Memetic entities inhabit our brain, and we are in symbiosis with these language organisms. Without us, I can not exist, and without them we are wild hominids. But thanks to the symbiosis, we have the illusion of free will, which, according to Van Driem, is the interaction between the instincts, the hunger and lust of human domination and the linguistic symbiosis that is reproduced through ideas and meaning.
5. XNK synthetic life.
Life on Earth is based on two molecules that transmit information, DNA and RNA, but scientists have long wondered whether other such molecules are possible. Although each polymer can transfer information, RNA and DNA can also encode, transmit, and reproduce information and change it during the evolutionary process. Each DNA and RNA nucleotide consists of three parts – phosphate, sugar (deoxyribose or ribose) and one of five bases (adenine, guanine cytosine and thymine in DNA or uracil in RNA). Scientists have long been entertaining ideas to function DNA or RNA when a base or base sugar has changed. And some of them went a step further than mere theorizing. The team of scientists in 2012 experimented with various foundations instead of (deoxy) ribose, and for the first time they managed to create molecules that were successfully replicated and developed. One of these synthetic HNA molecules (hexitone nucleic acid) was stable enough to serve as the basis of the biosystem. Second, TNA (with tereose instead of ribose) is a pretty good candidate for the first replicating molecule before life has appeared on Earth.
6. Life based on strong and weak nuclear power
Scientist and nanotechnology Robert Freitas has set the subject of nonbiological (and non-mechanical) life. He emphasizes that metabolism to organisms could be based on one of the four elementary forces of the universe – gravity, electromagnetic, strong or weak nuclear power. All biological life, as well as all “classical” aliens and even hypothetical mechanical life are based on electromagnetic force. But Freitas also assumed a life based on strong nuclear power. Given the fact that a strong nuclear force operates at extremely small distances (smaller than the core of the atom – it keeps protons together), such an organism would need extreme conditions. Freitas, as the most prominent candidate, presumes a neutron star – a body of former stars who, after supernovaes, squeezed into a 10-20-mile-diameter ball and the mass of our Sun. With an incredibly powerful magnetic field and a mass 100 billion times the Earth, the neutron stars have a two-three-kilometer thick bark of crystallized iron nucleus, beneath which the sea of non-nuclear particles – from the nuclei of different atoms to protons, and also presumed to be a “macro” of incredibly rich neutrons. These macrosenses could, in theory, connect to a supernatural-like neutron-like organic compound that would serve as a water in this bizarre pseudo-biology system. For a weak nuclear force, which is weaker and works at an even smaller distance (within the proton itself, or neutron itself), does not believe that it could sustain metabolism, but it is assumed by gravity-making entities. These beings produced energy from gravity. The Ogrom of the creatures would feed crashes of black holes, galaxies and other celestial bodies, their children would live from the rotation and revolutionary movements of the planet, and the “newborn” from the waterfall, the tide and the moon …
7. Plasma creatures
Many scientists have been entertained by the idea of life based on something other than carbon, but Russian academician Vadim Nikolajevic Cjitovic assumed creatures in a completely different aggregate state. He has proved that under certain conditions, particles of inorganic dust can be organized into organic structure-like spiral structures. The phenomenon was observed in plasma, the fourth aggregate state in which the electrons are separated from the nucleus. Cjitovic noticed that plasma particles not only organize themselves in the spiral, but spirals merge, charging the adjacent spirals – and most importantly – separating and working their copies. “These complex, self-organizing plasmatic structures show all the characteristics of living matter. They are self-contained, reproduce and develop, “he pointed out. Scientists have not denied its results, but are skeptical of its interpretation and say that it is more a matter of good public relations than a scientific hypothesis, first of all because this is true for example clouds. However, it can be imagined that if plasmas inorganic particles can really develop into replicating evolving forms of life, it would probably be the most common form of life in the universe, thanks to the regular plasma emission in the universe and the clouds of interstellar dust.
8. Metal cells
Professor Lee Cronin of the University of Glasgow devoted much of his career to devotion to living metals. It connects various polyoxymethalates (oxygen-linked metal atoms, and in this case phosphorus) to make “bubbles” like cells. These are called by inorganic chemical cells, i.e., by the English norganic-chemical-cells (iCHELLs). They are making them salts of large anions of metal oxides bound with a small cation (for example, positively charged hydrogen). The resin of such salt is then dipped in a salt solution with a small anion and a large organic cation. Then the salts replace the parts and the large anion with metal oscillation is combined with a large organic cation and thereby creates an insoluble bubble in the water. By altering metal oxides, bubble scientists can give different properties – including key cell membrane properties – that some substances pass through, and some do not. Although iCHELLs can not replicate, Cronin hopes to succeed one day. Until then, it has to be satisfied with the many different uses of its “babies” – from medicine to solar cells.