Nature can incorporate silicon into building blocks of life: study
A new study has suggested that nature can incorporate silicon into the building blocks of life, which can potentially make it feasible for life to form from silicon and not from carbon as humans did.
A team of researchers led by Jennifer Kan of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) used a bacterium to produce a silicon-carbon bond naturally. Previously, it was only done synthetically.
Silicon is chemically very similar to carbon as it is also capable of producing extended chains of molecules, like proteins and DNA. Caltech researchers create the silicon-carbon bond naturally through a method known as direct evolution.
Kan pointed to "Jurrasic Park" character Dr. Ian Malcolm' most quotable line, "Life, uh, finds a way," when he speaks about the dangers of genetically cloned dinosaurs.
The research not only showed that nature can successfully incorporate silicon into the building blocks of life but it also pointed to huge implications in how scientists can use to produce medicine and less toxic materials at lower costs.
The encouraging findings of the study were detailed in the most recent edition of the journal Science.