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Silicon-based life research project looking for volunteers

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posted on Mar, 3 2004 @ 04:14 PM
In the search of extraterrestrial life, science fictions writers and scientists have proposed life based on the element silicon, instead of life that is like ours based on carbon. This research project will research the possibility of silicon-based life. The research project will focus on life with a molecular design similar to terrestrial life. This is because it is very difficult to come up with a totally different structure of life than we know it. I propose than in a post at the end we will devote some time to the possibility of these totally different structures, but these will not be the main focus of the project.

The different subtopics:
1 The history of the proposal of silicon-based life in science-fiction and science.
2 What are the special properties of carbon, especially in terms of molecular structures, that make it the basis of our form of life? What is required chemically for life?
3 Why is silicon proposed as an alternative to carbon-based life?
4 Does silicon have the properties as described in (1)?
5 If silicon does not have the properties as described in (3), does the lack of these properties pose a unsolvable problem for silicon as the basis of life? If not, what are possible solutions to this problem?
6 What is the best environment for silicon-based life, keeping in mind (5)?
7 Does the environment described in (6) possible? If so, is it possible in our solar system?
8 Is there a possibility of silicon-based life that is totally different from life as we know it?

It is very probable that some of these subtopics will get subtopics themselves. This will be determined after the preliminary research.

What does my ideal team look like?
- One of two chemist(s) for (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7) and (8).
- A biologist for (2), (5), (6), (8).
- An astronomer for (7).
- A geologist for (7).
- A science-fiction reader for (1) and (8) (science-fiction sometimes has nice ideas)
The astronomer and the geologist could be the same person. It will probably be impossible to find qualified scientists for every position, so interested laymen with knowledge of the subject will have to do.

Do you want to participate in this project? You have to be dedicated and you require knowledge of one the subjects described above. Send me a U2U describing why you want to do participate in this project and why I should choose you. If you have any special qualifications and knowledge, please include that as well. More information about the Research project guidelines.


posted on Mar, 3 2004 @ 05:04 PM
What level of input and time line are you looking at?

I don't have a huge amount of time to invest but i could do a few hour on the weekend(s).

I'm a Physist, who had a lot of cellular biology in college. My chemistry is a little weak though, but I can at lest come up with simple molecular diagrams. I can't however handle advanced molecular configuration or know a great deal of organic chem.

I have a pretty good idea right now of what the outcome will be given my knowledge of cellular pathways, but i'd still be happy to put together some info.

[Edited on 3-3-2004 by Quest]

posted on Mar, 4 2004 @ 01:55 AM
I sent you a U2U, but for everyone else thinking about the level of input and the time line for this project, I'll give for information here as well.

A few hour in the weekend is a bit short, but for one of the smaller subtopics it's enough. The time line in my opinion should be:
I want to have assembled a team of about 7 people 7-3-2004
I suggest until 9-3-2004 for some preliminary research, after which we will decide the final topics and subtopics and which team member will do what.
Every team member does his/her research until 17-3-2004. We'll also plan some meetings inbetween.
I want to have checked everything for mistakes at 20-3-2004. We can post it on 21-3-2004.

This is a tight schedule, but I am confident that we can finish it in 14 days.

posted on Mar, 5 2004 @ 01:02 AM
We still need 4 more volunteers. There have got to be more people who are interested in this project. Still needed are people with knowledge of:
- Chemistry
- Biology
- Astronomy
- Science Fiction

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