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Old February 21st, 2019 #1
Nikola Bijeliti
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Default NASA-Funded Research Creates DNA-like Molecule to Aid Search for Alien Life

NASA-Funded Research Creates DNA-like Molecule to Aid Search for Alien Life

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In a research breakthrough funded by NASA, scientists have synthesized a molecular system that, like DNA, can store and transmit information. This unprecedented feat suggests there could be an alternative to DNA-based life, as we know it on Earth – a genetic system for life that may be possible on other worlds.

This new molecular system, which is not a new life form, suggests scientists looking for life beyond Earth may need to rethink what they are looking for. The research appears in Thursday’s edition of Science Magazine.
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Old February 22nd, 2019 #2
O. Pierce
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How does this aid in the search for alien life? They just added four new bases to vanilla DNA and gave it a Japanese name to make it sound exotic. You need probes and telescopes to search for alien life.
 
Old February 23rd, 2019 #3
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Originally Posted by O. Pierce View Post
How does this aid in the search for alien life? They just added four new bases to vanilla DNA and gave it a Japanese name to make it sound exotic. You need probes and telescopes to search for alien life.
There are two ways of finding life on another planet without going there ourselves: We can photograph a large life form with a camera, or we can detect microscopic life forms through some experiment. In order to devise an experiment to detect microscopic life forms, we have to have some prior expectation as to what they might be, so that we will know what to look for. Since the only type of life we know is terestrial life, that is what the experiments so far have been designed to detect. If a completely different type of microscopic life existes on another planet, experiments designed to detect terrestrial-type life forms will not detect it.

What this experiment did is produce a new type of DNA-like molecule that coud possibly be the basis of life on another planet. It gives scientists something new to look for and alows them to design new experiments that can detect life that does not conform to what we would epect to find on earth.
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