Jun 24, 2023

Radical New Theory Gives a Very Different Perspective on What Life Is

Posted by in categories: chemistry, energy

Biologists usually define ‘life’ as an entity that reproduces, responds to its environment, metabolizes chemicals, consumes energy, and grows. Under this model, ‘life’ is a binary state; something is either alive or not.

This definition works reasonably well on planet Earth, with viruses being one notable exception. But if life is elsewhere in the universe, it may not be made of the same stuff as us. It might not look, move, or communicate like we do. How, then, will we identify it as life?

Arizona State University astrobiologist Sara Walker and University of Glasgow chemist Lee Cronin think they’ve found a way.

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