[ExI] NASA tease on SETI find

David Lubkin lubkin at unreasonable.com
Fri Dec 3 03:19:30 UTC 2010

Spike wrote:

>I am surprised by the disappointment expressed by several posters.  This was
>a hellll of a find.  I wouldn't expect anything to incorporate arsenic into
>the tissues.  This opens up possibilities for the panspermia notion, as well
>as causing me personally to increase my own estimate of the number of star
>systems that support life.

I'm wondering whether arsenic was happenstance or a particularly
feasible substitution. Can the critters can make other substitutes
to a higher row in the periodic table, e.g., phosphorus for nitrogen,
strontium for calcium, ruthenium for iron...?

This phenomenon also suggests that we can engineer lifeforms
for different element mixes piecewise. (For industrial use here or
seeding life elsewhere.)

And what about last week's find that Rhea has an oxygen
atmosphere? Which raises the prospect that there are loads of
gas giants in the galaxy with similar lunar possibilities for life.

-- David.

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