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Orgin of life

  1. Mar 26, 2006 #1
    I know that one of the biggest catalyst in creating life is water but i was wondering if its even possible that life can form in places with out water by a different catalyst.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 28, 2006 #2
    H2S provides some of the functions of water in some environments.

    But you couldn't get away without any water as we understand life.
  4. Mar 28, 2006 #3


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    In 2010, the second Space Odyssey book, Clarke creates gaseous life forms that exist in the atmosphere of Jupiter. I'm sure at least some of the gas was H2O, but I'm assuming you meant liquid water. I would imagine that at some pressure, gaseous reactions take place at a similar enough pace to aqueous reactions that it's at least possible, in principle, for life to evolve, but of course that's all science fiction. No life form we've ever encountered can exist outside of an aqueous environment (internally, at least).
  5. Mar 29, 2006 #4


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    I think we have a lot more exploring to do before we can definitively answer the question "is it even possible...?" So...maybe.

    I wonder if some type of liquid hydrocarbon might also do the trick (although life may require a different kind of cell wall to survive in that).
  6. Mar 29, 2006 #5
    A liquid hydrocarbon would be non-polar. One of the reasons water is so good for life, is because it is polar.

    Biochemical reactions, which routinely involve the (at least temporary) production of charged particles, are therefore much "happier" in an aqueous solution (where the water molecules can surround the charges on products/intermediates/reactants).

    Water has a decent surface tension as well - which is useful for life. Frozen water is less dense than liquid water - which is useful for avoiding massive die-offs in lakes in winter.

    Just a few considerations for people to noodle around with. Have fun with it!
  7. Mar 29, 2006 #6


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    I agree on that. It's a good question, but not one that has any answer yet.
  8. Apr 2, 2006 #7
    First: How can one tell when an entity is alive?
  9. Apr 3, 2006 #8
    Who are you to question scientific dogma? :rofl:

    Seriously though, don't take it personally we all get posts pulled for whatever reason at times, I believe I once linked to a controversial web site and had it pulled once, though in this case it's probably because there is and entire area of the forum dedicated to new theories, if you feel that hard done by, present your ideas there, at least then they're very unlikely to get deleted unless you break some other forum rule.

    @ Vincent Vega: how do you tell when an entity is alive? How do you tell now. That should give you the criteria your looking for :smile: was that a rhetorical question?:wink:
  10. Apr 3, 2006 #9


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    Point of order here:

    It seems to me that this thread is a textbook example of why PF does not allow personal theories. No slight to Taoist, but AzMaphysics is asking a legitimate question and can expect to get an answer here on Physics Forum that is the generally accepted answer** in the scientific community.

    (**Why? What if AzMaphysics then went on to talk to his peers or prof about these ideas, not knowing they are a theory-in-development held by a single proponent. No, he needs to learn about the basics before moving on to the esoteric.)
  11. Apr 3, 2006 #10


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    Thank you, now let's get back to the original topic. Any comments can be handled by PM.
  12. Apr 3, 2006 #11
    Does virogenesis require water to take place?

    Here we have VRNA encapsulated in a crystaline casing, unless there have been other, more recent discoveries regarding this morphology.

    It was an idea that viruses may have been the genesis of life on this planet since they are known to withstand the rigors of interplanetary and even interstellar space. I envisioned various strains of viruses populating the earth and, by chance, combining to form DNA as we know it today. Still, the VRNA molecule may ultimately depend on the turbulance and other features of liquid water to form. (This post has been edited for content)
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2006
  13. Apr 4, 2006 #12
    I'm only suggesting that there might exist the capability of mutability and transformability in VRNA (to the point of it evolving into a form of DNA) because of some of the discoveries and utilizations of the Viral Gene Transfer technique used in research and clinical trials regarding many medical procedures.

    Heres one example involving neurology:

    Here's another regarding oncology:

    Why I think this shows the versatilty of VRNA is that it is accommodating the presence of highly complex forms of DNA without damaging it. So, in my viro-origin of life scenario I am seeing various strains of VRNA at various levels of development combining and ultimately forming a DNAesque structure.
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