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(Phys Org2)   There is almost no life without Fe-elings, nothing more than Fe-elings   (phys.org) divider line
    More: Interesting, Earth, Evolution, Planet, Life, formation of the planet Earth, Oxygen, Terrestrial planet, amount of iron  
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405 clicks; posted to STEM » on 07 Dec 2021 at 9:19 AM (7 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2021-12-07 9:36:24 AM  
Only applies to carbon based life. Seeing as we have no idea what the true limits of life are, this is like saying air is required to live
 
2021-12-07 9:46:21 AM  

lifeslammer: Only applies to carbon based life. Seeing as we have no idea what the true limits of life are, this is like saying air is required to live


Iron is a decent electron acceptor and is incredibly common throughout the universe. I wouldn't be surprised if other life chemistries used iron too.
 
2021-12-07 10:16:52 AM  
What a strange article. Iron is one of the most stable nuclei.  It will of course be abundant in any planet with significant heavy metal content.  Yes, it has myriad functional abilities as it has myriad accessible oxidation states. We know that these oxidation states can be affected by local chemical environments --- just the thing for enzymes.

So what are we supposed to be learning here? It seems like 50+ year old knowledge.
 
2021-12-07 10:41:25 AM  
Amazing how an element that's blasted out over the cosmos by dying starts ends up being essential to life.
 
2021-12-07 11:18:59 AM  
Hey Hammer!

/no one will get this
 
2021-12-07 1:50:08 PM  
I am iroooon man, mofos!
 
2021-12-07 4:02:10 PM  

lifeslammer: Only applies to carbon based life. Seeing as we have no idea what the true limits of life are, this is like saying air is required to live


So, what seems likely other than carbon, oxygen, hydrogen?

I have an old speculative science book that presented some different possibilities. The problems they found, written in the 70s, aren't going to change. Switching from carbon to silicon seems simple enough, but body temperature would have to be extremely high because of how stable Si-O bonds are. Replacing iron with ruthenium? Probably not. Oxygen could possibly replaced with fluorine, as a stronger electron sink, but CF2 polymerizes in ways that CO2 doesn't and becomes very inert. Not a great substitution.

Speculative and experimental chemistry has tried to make non-carbon life. Nothing tried so far works nearly as well. Alternatively, the chance of randomly finding the chemistry of life is pretty slim, and the universe is huge, so something else probably exists somewhere.
 
2021-12-07 9:15:46 PM  
On Earth, everything that fixes atmospheric nitrogen uses FeMoco (iron and molybdenum, th cofactor).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FeMoco
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Life hasn't founds lots of was doing this but just essentially one way.
/// 6 bonds to a carbon atom
 
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