Kemo D. (kemo_d7) wrote,
Kemo D.

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Alien Cells

Are Alien Cells Among Us?
In pursuit of evidence that life arose on Earth more than once, scientists are searching for microbes that are radically different from all known organisms…

Alien microbes may be hiding in plain sight. Although they might look like ordinary bacteria, their biochemistry could involve exotic amino acids or different elemental building blocks. 

The following are artist conceptions of yet to be discovered alien cells.
Researchers are now seeking evidence of a second genesis by searching for exotic microbes that are biochemically different from all known organisms. 

In this image, artist Adam Questell has imagined an alien cell that carries its genetic material in twin nuclei.
SILICON LIFE-FORM : The most radically different aliens would be those based on silicon instead of carbon. Because silicon, like carbon, has a valence number of four (that is, the atom’s outermost orbital contains four electrons), silicon atoms can be arranged in rings and long chains that could form the backbones of biological molecules.
MIRROR LIFE: Large biological molecules can be configured into two mirror-image orientations: left-handed or right-handed. In all known life-forms, the amino acids are left-handed and DNA is a right-handed double helix. But if life started again from scratch, the amino acids could be right-handed and the DNA left-handed.
AMINO ACIDS LIFE-FORM: All familiar organisms use, with rare exceptions, the same 20 amino acids to construct proteins, but chemists can synthesize many others. Alien microbes could incorporate unusual amino acids such as isovaline and pseudoleucine, which have been found in meteorites.
VARIOUS LIFE-FORMS: It is possible that life arose on Earth several times, each time generating life-forms with different chemical characteristics.
ALIENS WITHIN US: Perhaps the most intriguing possibility of all is that alien life-forms inhabit our own bodies. While observing mammalian cells with an electron microscope in 1988, Olavi Kajander and his colleagues at the University of Kuopio in Finland observed ultrasmall particles inside many of the cells. With dimensions as small as 50 nanometers, these particles were about one-tenth the size of conventional small bacteria. Ten years later Kajander and his co-workers proposed that the particles were living organisms that thrive in urine and induce the formation of kidney stones by precipitating calcium and other minerals around themselves.

Kemo D. (a.k.a. no.7)
Tags: science
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