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Thread: Chiral life concept

  1. #1 Chiral life concept 
    Forum Junior
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    Imagine that we take mirror reflection of a cell - change each molecule into its enantiomers.
    In physics it's called parity transform - it's not perfectly conserved, but the differences of energies are many orders of magnitude smaller than thermal noise in biochemistry - such cell should function properly (but for example use L-glucose).
    http://wikibin.org/articles/chiral-life-concept.html

    We don't have technology to construct such cell in this moment, but maybe in a few dozens of years ...
    So I believe it would be wise to discuss about it's possibilities and dangers...
    One of the possibility is that such chiral life would be incompatible with most of normal parasites...

    What do You think about it?


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  3. #2  
    Time Lord
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    Totally fascinating... I'll toss & turn on this tonight. In the good way.


    But

    the linked article begins with this funny notion that "disease-free ecosystems" would be "robust, effective".


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  4. #3  
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    I agree that some pathogens can have 'positive' effects like for example strengthening natural selection...
    For some of them (and from our perspective ;P) their positiveness ends on making some additional stress to find better/stronger new generations ...

    In our case - natural selection was replaced with humanitarism.
    Te prevent further devolution we will just have to take genetics in our hands...

    Returning to Your remark...
    Don't You think life would be more effective (... and many more...) if human viruses would be eliminated?
    Couldn't we use energy of these lives, energy to cure (or to try...) them and cancers they caused for something else - make our ecosystem more effective... ?
    And maybe there is a larger list of such things/organisms...
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  5. #4  
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    A decade has passed, moving this topic from SF to synthetic life: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiral_life_concept



    One of the most difficult tasks seemed to be able to synthesize working mirror proteins ... and last year Chinese have synthesized mirror polymeraze:

    Nature News 2016: Mirror-image enzyme copies looking-glass DNA, Synthetic polymerase is a small step along the way to mirrored life forms, Mirror-image enzyme copies looking-glass DNA : Nature News & Comment



    There are also lots of direct economical motivations to continue to synthesize mirror bacteria, like for mass production of mirror proteins (e.g. aptamers) or L-glucose (perfect sweetener).

    So in another decade we might find out that a colony of mirror bacteria is already living e.g. in some lab in China ...



    ... taking us closer to a possibility nicely expressed in the title of WIRED 2010 article: "Mirror-image cells could transform science - or kill us all" ( https://www.wired.com/2010/11/ff_mirrorlife/ ) - estimating that it would take a mirror cyanobacteria (photosynthesizing) a few centuries to dominate our planet ... eradicating our life ...
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