1. Subscribersonhouse
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    04 Dec '10 22:01
    http://www.physorg.com/news/2010-12-nasa-discovery-element-life.html

    One amazing thing about this, it was predicted to be possible in a paper written over a year ago! I have a feeling their scientific stock is on the rise!

    Also, does anyone here know if Sb (Antimony) is close enough chemically to also sub for phos in DNA and the like? Sb is the next one down that line on the periodic table.
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    04 Dec '10 23:31
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    http://www.physorg.com/news/2010-12-nasa-discovery-element-life.html

    One amazing thing about this, it was predicted to be possible in a paper written over a year ago! I have a feeling their scientific stock is on the rise!

    Also, does anyone here know if Sb (Antimony) is close enough chemically to also sub for phos in DNA and the like? Sb is the next one down that line on the periodic table.
    There are As in their DNA to sub Ph.
  3. Subscribersonhouse
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    05 Dec '10 01:13
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    There are As in their DNA to sub Ph.

    Yes, but I was wondering if the next element down on the periodic chart can sub for arsenic also, Antimony.
  4. Standard memberua41
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    05 Dec '10 03:004 edits
    I don't think antimony would be a good candidate. I'm not as fresh as I have been on my bio molecules but I do believe phosphorus' role is more of a skeletal position (particularly DNA). Arsenic "works" by simple bonding rules of the family group but I don't imagine it's the most stable (an article did mention the growth wasn't as great as the control) due to molecular weight and the slightly more metallic properties. Antimony is probably overkill on the structure.

    4 edits: such a "grate" speller
  5. Subscribersonhouse
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    05 Dec '10 05:54
    Originally posted by ua41
    I don't think antimony would be a good candidate. I'm not as fresh as I have been on my bio molecules but I do believe phosphorus' role is more of a skeletal position (particularly DNA). Arsenic "works" by simple bonding rules of the family group but I don't imagine it's the most stable (an article did mention the growth wasn't as great as the control) due to m ...[text shortened]... es. Antimony is probably overkill on the structure.

    4 edits: such a "grate" speller
    Well this arsenic thing is certainly a revelation regardless. This opens the door to investigations as to what else can be substituted down or up the periodic table.
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    05 Dec '10 11:311 edit
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    There are As in their DNA to sub Ph.

    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Yes, but I was wondering if the next element down on the periodic chart can sub for arsenic also, Antimony.
    Create an Antimony-rich environment and wait a 100 million of years, and observe the result, then you have the answer of your question.
    I would say that you'll have a positive result. But who am I to answer this question? God? No...
  7. Subscribersonhouse
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    05 Dec '10 16:22
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    Create an Antimony-rich environment and wait a 100 million of years, and observe the result, then you have the answer of your question.
    I would say that you'll have a positive result. But who am I to answer this question? God? No...
    Even if that were possible it is still just tweaking the known DNA/RNA patterns. The real question is what other forms of information storage and retrieval can happen to produce life as we know it or as we don't know it. For instance, could there be somewhere in the universe alternate forms of DNA, like a double helix or other shapes that can do the same job as Earthly DNA, maybe make the same rough shapes that we enjoy here on Earth, fish, birds, etc. My guess is yes but we don't have the imagination to even work out basic alternate forms yet, unless we stumble across that kind of thing when men get into deep space, maybe even in our own solar system, Titan, Enceladus, Europa, Mars, etc.
  8. Subscribersonhouse
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    05 Dec '10 17:251 edit
    So following the arsenic logic, maybe on other planets there could be life based on lithium, Silicon, Arsenic, Selenium and Argon, all those are just beneath the ones we use now, hydrogen, carbon, phos, sulfur and nitrogen.

    Now that we know arsenic works, maybe the genetic guys can engineer those other elements into DNA. I bet there will be a flurry of genetic engineering along those lines now that the door has been opened to these new possibilities.
  9. Standard memberwolfgang59
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    05 Dec '10 22:50
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    So following the arsenic logic, maybe on other planets there could be life based on lithium, Silicon, Arsenic, Selenium and Argon, all those are just beneath the ones we use now, hydrogen, carbon, phos, sulfur and nitrogen.

    Now that we know arsenic works, maybe the genetic guys can engineer those other elements into DNA. I bet there will be a flurry of g ...[text shortened]... etic engineering along those lines now that the door has been opened to these new possibilities.
    Hydrogen is a bit special ... cant see Lithium replacing that!

    And Argon isnt going to help at all!!!

    (Maybe you mistook Neon for Nitrogen on table?)
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    06 Dec '10 18:35
    It is an exciting finding, however I still am doubting the result. It sounds all good, but I understand the new technique not well enough, so I have to believe.

    What puzzles me is the apparent adaptation of the enzymes and proteins to arsenic presence. One of the lethal effects in 'common' cells is the inhibitory binding to shut off proteins function, because it is so similar to phosphorous. It will be interesting to look at the mutations in the genetic code, to see how many there are, etc...
  11. Subscribersonhouse
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    06 Dec '10 21:09
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    Hydrogen is a bit special ... cant see Lithium replacing that!

    And Argon isnt going to help at all!!!

    (Maybe you mistook Neon for Nitrogen on table?)
    Yep, I did mistake neon for nitrogen. So the next one down from nitrogen is phosphorous! So could phos sub for N2?
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    08 Dec '10 12:19
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Yep, I did mistake neon for nitrogen. So the next one down from nitrogen is phosphorous! So could phos sub for N2?
    Aaargh! Phosphorus, not phosphorous! "Phosphorous" is an adjective, meaning "containing, or in some way (e.g. colour) like, phosphorus". The name of the substance is phosphorus, not phousphourous.

    OK, that hobgoblin kicked off my back, no, I don't believe phosphorus could substitute for nitrogen. It has some rather different properties, amongst which are radically different ways of connecting with other atoms. The only stable nitrogen configuration (that I know of, and under normal circumstances) is N2. By contrast, P2 exists but isn't stable, while P4 forms crystals of yellow phosphorus, black P is a cubic grid, red phos is built of chains.
    The reason arsenic can take over for phosphorus is, AFAICT, that it shares some, but not all, of this versatility, and can form similar bonds. It's different in a lot of ways, but apparently just similar enough in the properties needed for substitution.

    Richard
  13. Subscribersonhouse
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    09 Dec '10 01:45
    Originally posted by Shallow Blue
    Aaargh! Phosphor[b]us, not phosphorous! "Phosphorous" is an adjective, meaning "containing, or in some way (e.g. colour) like, phosphorus". The name of the substance is phosphorus, not phousphourous.

    OK, that hobgoblin kicked off my back, no, I don't believe phosphorus could substitute for nitrogen. It has some rather different properties, amongs ...[text shortened]... but apparently just similar enough in the properties needed for substitution.

    Richard[/b]
    If the only stable configuration of nitrogen is N2, why is it stable in a DNA molecule?
  14. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    09 Dec '10 03:02
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    If the only stable configuration of nitrogen is N2, why is it stable in a DNA molecule?
    That's not pure nitrogen.
  15. Subscribersonhouse
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    09 Dec '10 18:43
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    That's not pure nitrogen.
    Not understanding that one. If you look at the N2 or N singlet, how is it different if it is in isolation or if it is bound to some molecule? Is there an isotopic difference here? I would think the addition of a neutron or two wouldn't effect the chemical bonds.
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