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Author Topic: Alien Plants May Thrive on Many Wavelengths of Light  (Read 1375 times)

Dragonoake

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Alien Plants May Thrive on Many Wavelengths of Light
« on: March 21, 2012, 01:15:10 am »
New discoveries are making chlorophyll-d and a cyanobacterium named Acaryochloris marina interesting for scientists trying to find life on extrasolar planets

Scientific American

Dragonoake

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Re: Alien Plants May Thrive on Many Wavelengths of Light
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2012, 01:20:56 am »
Quote from: Dragonoake;46632
New discoveries are making chlorophyll-d and a cyanobacterium named Acaryochloris marina interesting for scientists trying to find life on extrasolar planets


Makes perfect sense to me, especially if we assume life evolved near deep sea vents where NIR would be much more readily available than visible light

victoreia

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Re: Alien Plants May Thrive on Many Wavelengths of Light
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2012, 09:23:18 pm »
Quote from: Dragonoake;46632
New discoveries are making chlorophyll-d and a cyanobacterium named Acaryochloris marina interesting for scientists trying to find life on extrasolar planets

Scientific American

 
Without having read the article, my knee-jerk reaction was "well, DUH!" But then, I'm a fan of science fiction, so I take it as a given. (Not to mention, I'm waiting for them to discover the "first" non-carbon-based life form.....) :whis:
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Dragonoake

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Re: Alien Plants May Thrive on Many Wavelengths of Light
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2012, 01:40:02 am »
Quote from: victoreia;46715
I'm waiting for them to discover the "first" non-carbon-based life form.....


The question is whether they would recognize something so exotic as a life form if they saw it

Let's assume, for a moment, that a silicon-based organism could evolve in an environment where there is enough heat and pressure for silicon to be water soluble. It's the same kind of environment where quartz forms, so it's quite plausible.

But .... It also means that neither we, nor they, would live long enough in the other's environment to be recognized as an organism

If you had it on your desk, it would be dead and "frozen", and look a lot like a hundred more ordinary quartz minerals; so how would you know?

It would probably have a distinctive chemical signature, but without knowing anything about it's biochemistry, what are you looking for?

OTOH, it would probably have a distinctive structure that wouldn't be readily explainable by geological means .... like opal

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Re: Alien Plants May Thrive on Many Wavelengths of Light
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2012, 06:39:46 pm »
Quote from: Dragonoake;46633
Makes perfect sense to me, especially if we assume life evolved near deep sea vents where NIR would be much more readily available than visible light


I remember the initial excitement when Acaryochloris marina was discovered.
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Re: Alien Plants May Thrive on Many Wavelengths of Light
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2012, 07:37:09 pm »
Quote from: Dragonoake;46632
New discoveries are making chlorophyll-d and a cyanobacterium named Acaryochloris marina interesting for scientists trying to find life on extrasolar planets

Scientific American

 
Love this stuff.
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