Title: The General Science Discussion Topic
Description: all the science
Jesus lizard - July 2, 2012 07:34 PM (GMT)
So I've tried to start one of these a few times before, but they all ended up silly.
This thread will be the catchall topic for asking science and nature based questions that we are puzzled by. It's often better to get answers from colleagues and friends than from vague internet search results, because they are more precise and helpful.
As an example and a first order of business. Rasec and I were talking about Troll Hunter earlier today and it got us thinking.
Could a carbon based life form 'switch' to a silica based life form or incorporate silicon into it's genetic makeup? Would it just take a long, long time to happen on an evolutionary scale? is it impossible? could it in theory happen with other organisms of alternate elemental makeup?
Rasec Wizzlbang - July 2, 2012 07:36 PM (GMT)
I think it might be possible, but fairly unlikely. And if it did happen, I'd imagine it would take a fucking long time to make a full transition, longer than anythings been alive on this planet.
But I don't think it's unheard of. We've got those microbes with bits of Cyanide in their genome, afterall.
dodoman1 - July 2, 2012 08:00 PM (GMT)
Chitons have teeth and eyes made of minerals, so it's probably not too much of a stretch.
Admiral_Aorta - July 3, 2012 04:42 AM (GMT)
|Could a carbon based life form 'switch' to a silica based life form or incorporate silicon into it's genetic makeup? Would it just take a long, long time to happen on an evolutionary scale? is it impossible? could it in theory happen with other organisms of alternate elemental makeup? |
Given that life chemistry relies on carbon compounds, how would a switch to silicon occur? You're talking changes to DNA backbones, proteins, all kinds of different compounds and that's assuming that these things can function with silicon instead of carbon. Silicon is in the same group as carbon but is non reactive and generally forms lattices rather than chains.
|We've got those microbes with bits of Cyanide in their genome, afterall. |
What is this referring to? What do you mean by cyanide in their genome?
|Silica incorporation is far from impossible, but a total conversion is extremely unlikely, but possible|
I'd like some sources for this statement. Silica incorporation into what? Diatoms have body walls made of silica, but they're still 'carbon based'.
Admiral_Aorta - July 3, 2012 05:24 AM (GMT)
But that's completely irrelevant to the question asked in the first post, which was about carbon based life somehow becoming silicon based.
Rasec Wizzlbang - July 3, 2012 07:01 AM (GMT)
Like, literally in their genome. Their DNA has cyanide in it.
Admiral_Aorta - July 3, 2012 07:59 AM (GMT)
Can I see a source? I'm not doubting you, I'm genuinely curious since I don't think i've heard of that before.
Rasec Wizzlbang - July 3, 2012 08:17 AM (GMT)
Wait, no, It was arsenic, not cyanidehttp://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/20...-science-space/
I get poison shit mixed up.
Rugnor - July 3, 2012 08:40 AM (GMT)
I know these, they exchange the phosfor in their metabolism with arsenic, aparently they can live with either of them by just changing their metabolism, it's implications are interesting
Admiral_Aorta - July 3, 2012 10:30 AM (GMT)
Oh it was that arsenic thing from a while back. While cool if true, the research is pretty questionable and other people haven't been able to replicate it. Studies that have tried to replicate it have found no evidence that the bacteria can utilise arsenic. See here and here
. It's also worth noting that even if these bacteria can utilise arsenic(which there doesn't seem to be much evidence for), they were supposedly using it as a substituite for phosphorus in the backbone of the DNA, not as a replacement for carbon. So it's not really that relevant to 'can we have a silicon based lifeform'.
Chthonios - April 15, 2013 04:44 PM (GMT)
Chthonios - April 24, 2013 09:55 PM (GMT)
Chthonios - May 2, 2013 08:10 AM (GMT)
What I assumed to be a forgery or a mummified fetus, turned out to be something much stranger...
Neini - May 2, 2013 08:15 AM (GMT)
I glanced at this topic and, for whatever reason, misread it as "The General Science Dinosaurs Topic" and thought it was some weird rename of the dinosaur thread.
It's more than just regular dinosaurs, it's General Science Dinosaurs!
BronzeGolem - May 2, 2013 09:12 AM (GMT)
It separates them from the Creationist "Science" Dinosaurs, the Alien Theories Dinosaurs and the Paranormal Dinosaurs
Jesus lizard - May 2, 2013 03:16 PM (GMT)
This thing just boggles my mind...
One of the strangest, coolest, weirdest mysteries we've ever unearthed - without a doubt.
Chthonios - May 6, 2013 03:57 PM (GMT)
MrWeasel - May 6, 2013 04:28 PM (GMT)
I've written two creepypastas concerning fungi like that