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Thread: What is Consuming Hydrogen and Acetylene on Titan?

  1. #1 What is Consuming Hydrogen and Acetylene on Titan? 
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    Two new papers based on data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft scrutinize the complex chemical activity on the surface of Saturn's moon Titan. While non-biological chemistry offers one possible explanation, some scientists believe these chemical signatures bolster the argument for a primitive, exotic form of life or precursor to life on Titan's surface. According to one theory put forth by astrobiologists, the signatures fulfill two important conditions necessary for a hypothesized "methane-based life."


    http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2010-190


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  3. #2  
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    Methane based life.....neat stuff even if improbable. If such existed it would toss a whole new frontier into our thoughts about life on other planets and even the origin of life on earth.


    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
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    We are very strait jacketed in our thinking of what life can exist because we base it on what little we know. We know that extremophile bacteria can survive strong acids and alkalies, a vacuum, being boiled in temperatures of a few hundred degrees centigrade, deep below the Earth or deep underwater, radiation, freezing, hibernation for thousands of years which could overcome really bad conditions by sleeping through them, etc. This is modern life adapting to hostile environments but if life had adapted virtually from the beginning to hostile environments who knows what might exist? SF writers have come up with all sorts of weird things and conditions. I think methane based life would be one of the more likely candidates.
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    If you think outside the membrane (box), does life need to be liquid based?
    We can grow silicon devices using vapor deposition, you could imagine organic
    crystal directly absorbing gasses from the atmosphere.
    Or maybe DNA / RNA type filaments serviced by proteins free floating in clouds.

    The assumption that its primitive also need not be true, evolution will always have its way.
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