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amoda

Why do we alway say that there has to be water for there to be life?

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Hi

I was just wondering why we always keep looking for water as a sign of life. Couldnt there be any chance that there could be life without water or oxygen or anything else we labled as necassary for life? I just find it that it kinda limits our view of the universe. I just keep wondering if somewhere out there, there is an intelegint life form that relies on lets say iron for survival. Just a thought.

 

 

P.S. Sorry about spelling.

 

:banana: hehe banana hehe

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possibly, but you need to consider the chemistry and solvents that would be required. water is a brilliant solvent, for a number of reasons, such as the density changes around it's freezing point.

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Not only that - water is fundamental in our understanding of biochemistry & metabolism. Life would be very different if we were not made up of mostly water!

 

Cookie

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Anythings possible, but we only have so many gazillion dollar probes, so we have to go with what we know.

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we look for water/oxygen lifeforms because life as we know it(especially higher cognitive lifeforms) exist based on these 2 things. Thus astrobiologists assume this is the best way to start

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Cap'n Refsmmat said in post # :

What happens if something lives on sulfuric acid and breathes methane? Isn't that possible?

 

Sulphuric acid contains water duder.

 

(If it's not got water as the solvote, then it's not an acid)

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Cap'n Refsmmat said in post # :

What happens if something lives on sulfuric acid and breathes methane? Isn't that possible?

 

there are indeed such creatures like that here on Earth too, the sulphiric acid pools in Yellowstone national park have such life thriving in it, there are some Geisers with super heated water with bacteria living quite happily in it. and some creatures that live kilometers under the oceans, that get all their energy from volcanic vents because there`s no light down there from sun due to it`s depths, many of those are methane breathers too.

but they all have one thing in common, Water and Carbon :)

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Free oxygen isn't thought to be essential to life - in fact its potentially quite nasty stuff if you're not adapted to it. But water, as a solvent, hydrogen donor, and electron donor, may well be necessary.

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Radical Edward said in post # :

ooh Giles, long time no see :) can you recommend any good undergraduate biology textbooks?

 

I hear CELLS is good. The one that has the beatles album cover references on the back.

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I have always thought it is very close minded to think that all life needs water and oxygen.

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MrL probably means Molecular Biology of the Cell, by Alberts et al.

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sounds like a stupid question, but what if we just cannot physically see other life forms on other planets????

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Water is a polar solvent. That is why it can dissolve many compounds.

If we are looking for carbon-based life, then water is the best place for life molecules to form. Also, the first life organisms didn't use oxygen, but hydrogen from the water, liberating oxygen. Thats why our atmosphere changed to 20% oxygen. Thats why the ozone layer formed.

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sounds like a stupid question, but what if we just cannot physically see other life forms on other planets????

 

See them how? Like not detect them? You need to elaborate a bit here.

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