26 September 2013 Potential alternate life biochemistries
Author Affiliations +
While life on Earth continues to be discovered in unlikely environments, the underlying biochemistry is all very similar, based on the element carbon, and requiring liquid water. We consider alternate biochemistries based on elements other than carbon, including other group IVA elements, such as silicon and germanium, and solvents other than water. Terminal electron acceptors other than oxygen are also discussed. A fundamental issue is raised related to the detection of, and even the definition of life, whether it is carbon or non-carbon based. An extreme example of this issue would be in consideration of speculative life based on electrically charged dusty plasmas, which may have no physical body.
© (2013) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Gregory Konesky, Gregory Konesky, } "Potential alternate life biochemistries", Proc. SPIE 8865, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology XVI, 88650D (26 September 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2021351; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2021351


Back to Top