Apr 20, 2017 11:51 AM EDT
Alien worlds which are inhabited by silicon-based life have been always a part of science fiction. This has been adapted by the real world as well. For the very first time, scientists have shown that the nature of the earth can be evolved to incorporate silicon into carbon-based molecules, which are known as the building blocks of life on earth.
As stated in Space, the findings of the study regarding silicon-based life have been published in journal Science. "My feeling is that if a human being can coax life to build bonds between silicon and carbon, nature can do it too," the senior author of the study, Frances Arnold said. Arnold is a chemical engineer at the California Institute of Technology located in Pasadena.
Researchers have also theorized that alien life or silicon-based life can be completely different in chemical basis than the earth's life. Because the living beings on earth rely on water but it is perhaps that aliens might depend on ammonia or methane rather than water. Life on earth relies on carbon for creating living molecules, but aliens could use silicon.
It is written in Astrobiology Magazine that scientists have also discovered a method for coaxing biology to chemically bond silicon and carbon together for the possibilities of growing up silicon-based life. As per Arnold, researchers want to watch if they can use biology in a whole new are of chemistry that nature has not explored till now.
The main aim of the study was to create enzymes which can generate organo-silicon compounds. Synthetic organic chemist Jennifer Kan, bioengineer Russell Lewis and chemist Kai Chen teamed up with Arnold for the study of silicon-based life. "My laboratory uses evolution to design new enzymes, no one really knows how to design them - they are tremendously complicated. But we are learning how to use evolution to make new ones, just as nature does," Arnold commented to a source.
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