Silicon life forms

Disilane Si2H6 followed inwhen it was first made by Henri Moissan and Samuel Smiles by the protonolysis of magnesium silicides. Many chemists believe that the first "handed" carbon compounds formed in a "soupy" rock pool having a "handed" silica surface.

Another, threose nucleic acid or TNA, is considered a potential candidate for the mysterious primordial biochemistry that reigned before the dawn of life. But many lower life-forms, such as bacteria, can. In carbon-based biota, the basic energy storage compounds are carbohydrates in which the carbon atoms are linked by single bonds into a chain.

For instance, just as carbon combines with four hydrogen atoms to form methaneCH4, silicon yields silaneSiH4.

But what if life could be built from different stuff? Thus, it would be difficult for a silicon-based life-form to achieve all of the wonderful regulating and recognition functions that carbon-based enzymes perform for us.

Hypothetical types of biochemistry

The problem is that electrons are trapped, a bit like pieces on a draughts board in which no spaces are free.

It is the fourth-most abundant element in the universe; in our bodies, it makes up around By modifying the metal oxide backbone, the bubbles can be given the characteristics of biological cell membranes, selectively allowing chemicals in and out of the cell, potentially allowing for the same kind of controlled chemical reactions that occur in living cells.

There the were the fantastic worlds of Isaac Asimov, Larry Niven and Robert Heinlein, involving impossible adventures on mysterious planets - the successes of the Apollo space programme at the time only helped us suspend our disbelief.

But not all is lost for the possibility Silicon life forms silicon-based life. Molecules of opposite chirality have identical chemical properties to their mirrored forms, so life that used D amino acids or L sugars may be possible; molecules of such a chirality, however, would be incompatible with organisms using the opposing chirality molecules.

This idea was taken up by the British chemist James Emerson Reynolds — who, inin his opening address to the British Association for the Advancement of Science,1 pointed out that the heat stability of silicon compounds might allow life to exist at very high temperatures see thermophiles.

Now next week we hear about Roentgenium the element that we need to get just right. Could we expect organisms like that on a terrestrial, meaning Earth-type, planet? For example, it can form long, stable chains — hydrocarbons — which are found in the lipid membranes of cells.

If they were not constantly replenished by life processes plants that produce oxygen and bacteria that produce methane the two gases would react to produce the relative inert gas carbon dioxide. As Michio Kaku explains: But even linked with oxygen, it seems unlikely, or at least not under the kinds of mild conditions that we find on earth.

Chemistry in its element: Most grandiose of all, one can make porous 3D structures - a bit like molecular honeycombs - particularly in the presence of other tetrahedral linkers based on aluminium.

Freeing it from oxygen is tough, it hangs on like grim death and requires brutal conditions.A silicon-based lifeform was a corporeal lifeform that used silicon as the basis of its structure and life functions rather than carbon.

Silicon-based lifeforms generally did not evolve on M-class planets.

The possibility of silicon-based life

(ENT: "Observer Effect") InCaptain Jonathan Archer of Enterprise NX tried to. The new life forms up close, at five micrometers. The implications of this discovery are enormous to our understanding of life itself and the. Silicon-Based Life May Be More Than Just Science Fiction "my feeling is that if a human being can coax life to build bonds between silicon and and it often forms less complex kinds of.

A silicon-based lifeform, also known as a silicon cycle life form, was a corporeal lifeform that used silicon as the basis of its structure and life functions rather than carbon. While silicon-based lifeforms generally did not evolve on M-class planets; for a period of ten thousand years.

Silicon is essential to plant life but its use in animal cells is uncertain. Phytoliths are tiny particles of silica that form within some plants. Since these particles do not rot they remain in fossils and provide us with useful evolutionary evidence. 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 life forms
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