|Secret's in the soil? (Public Domain)|
Popular culture has portrayed “life in space" as little green men with big dark eyes.
However, alien life might be a lot more subtle than that. It might be so different from our preconceived notions that we wouldn’t even recognize it while face-to-whatever.
Jessica Orwig of Business Insider reports that scientists are searching for signs of life that go beyond surface appearances. Just because life on Earth is carbon-based doesn’t necessarily mean that methane- (or other-) based life forms aren’t thriving in other worlds.
The usual chemical analyses might therefore be quite limited when determining whether life exists elsewhere. Researchers are instead searching for “a trait that all life forms across the universe would possess…”
This trait might very well involve informational patterns. On earth, this entails genetic sequencing. Living things here “generate specific patterns as they self-replicate and reproduce,” whereas “things that are not living will have only random bits of information that never repeat at regular frequencies.”
Scientists can therefore begin analyzing the soil composition of other planets and moons in order to specifically determine whether there are “repeated sequences” of information to be found. If such patterns are discovered, then life might very well exist there in one strange form or another.
Copyright May 4, 2015 by Linda Van Slyke All Rights Reserved