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Is Alien life based on CARBON Only?

by Radioactron 2 years ago in extraterrestrial
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In this Unexplored Universe there are many chances that we can find Extraterrestrial Life. Let's see about Silicon based life.

Credit: Àstor Alexander-Art Station

Aliens are considered as hypothetical or fictional being from another world. Researchers are hunting for the biochemistry, life forms, habitation and appearance of aliens as how they look like? As far is known, the living organisms, currently known are made up of carbon compounds for basic structural and metabolic functions, water as a solvent, and DNA or RNA to define and control their form. So if extraterrestrial life exists, it maybe chemically similar though probably could be having different chemistries.
In recent searches, silicon has been discussed to a great extent as an alternative to carbon. Silicon being of same group and being tetravalent is making researchers curious to unleash the mysteries as if it could become a backbone for living beings or not. And silicon is foraged by researchers as if a human can coax life to build bonds between silicon and carbon then nature can do it too for extraterrestrial life.

Why is silicon an alternative?

Like carbon, silicon has similar chemical structure, it can form up to 4 bonds and is also one of the most common elements in the universe and makes up to 30% of the mass of earth’s crust, showing 150 times more abundance than carbon. Despites, earth is capable of chemically manipulating silicon . But the significance of silicon doesn’t ends up, much more resides into this anomalous element.
Scientists are digging deep into it to know about the probabilities of silicon to be an element which could make life possible to some extent. According to new studies, if silicon-life would exist then the environment should be reducing where atmosphere would lack oxygen and this could likely be a reason for existence of Alien life on other planets due to which normal beings are unable to see or get connected to beings residing elsewhere in the universe.
It has also been introduced that silicon could form stable and complex structures with vivid elements like germanium, carbon and so on in a very cold hydrogen-less solvent like liquid nitrogen.

Did got have a choice in creating universe ?

One of the most curious question, result of which is hunted by scientists, all over the world till date and silicon-based life could be an alternative, which would probably change the perspective of basic structure of life.
Team of researchers worked on enzymes known as heme proteins, which has iron and is capable of catalyzing a wide variety of reactions and can normally shuttle electrons to other proteins in the microbes, besides that, heme proteins or cytochrome c could also generate low levels of organo-silicon compounds. In a recent experiment, few rotations of mutation in cytochrome c enzyme did great enhancement to the catalytic activity of enzyme and as a result of which it could generate up to 20 different organo-silicon compounds out of which 19 are new to science.
An insight into extremophiles
Extremophiles are the organisms with optimal growth in environment conditions considered extremely challenging for a carbon based life similar to the one existing on earth.
Astrobiologists showed great interest and investigated extremophiles in order to map out the existence of extraterrestrial life in the universe. For example: deserts of Antarctica are exposed to UV radiation,low temperature, high salt concentration and low mineral concentration. This atmosphere is homologous to that of Mars, hence, microbial life at Antarctic desert could raise possibilities of occurrence of similar life at Martian surfaces as well. A microorganism Paracoccus denitrificans which was subjected to conditions of extreme gravity and was rotated in an ultracentrifuge at high speeds corresponding 403,627g, not only survived but also robust cellular growth under the conditions of hyperacceleration usually found in cosmic Surroundings. Similarly organisms producing silicon are observed to sustain extreme environments that is somehow impossible for carbon based lives.
Existence of extraterrestrial life
Which aspects of living systems are necessary for living systems everywhere is not known so far, even which of them are contingent means results of evolutionary accident or is merely required basically for existence of life is not known. Because of such dilemma, every single example of extraterrestrial life holds equal importance, no matter how big or small, how elementary in form of substance, would represent a basic and fundamental revolution to science.
Life on earth consists basically of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, water as interaction medium but this doesn’t limits the wide range of life that could possibly survive elsewhere in the universe, as phosphorus as phosphate could bound to organic compounds, ammonia could act as liquid for interaction medium.
Scientists are investigating in search of extraterrestrial life and one of the most prominent equation which probably highlights the existence of such beings is Drake’s equation which explains the reality of extraterrestrial life to some extent

Drake's Equation

N= number of civilizations with which humans could communicate

R*= mean rate of star formation

Fp= fraction of stars that have planets

Ne= mean number of planets that could support life per star with planets

Fl= fraction of life-supporting planets that develop life

Fi= fraction of planets with life where life develops intelligence

Fc= fraction of intelligent civilizations that develop communication

L= mean length of time that civilizations can communicate

This equation is very hard to estimate but it gives an idea that civilizations could exist even with intelligent beings , so, extraterrestrial life is not impossible and unimaginable, it’s just far beyond our surviving environment.
The versatile chemistries of life make us to peep into the past while going through the theory of panspermia which states that life exists throughout the universe, distributed by space dust, meteoroids and so on, and also by spacecraft carrying unintended contamination of organisms concluding that distribution may have occurred spanning galaxies and may not be restricted to the limited seale of solar systems.
TAGS: Alien, silicon based life, extremophiles, panspermia

Article by:- Saumya Mishra

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