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An international research team claimed a breakthrough in self-replicating plasma crystals which could be an early form of inorganic life. New studies of dust that form lifelike structures suggest that extraterrestrial life may not be carbon-based at all. Researchers at the Russian Academy of Science, the Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Germany, and the University of Sydney observed particles of inorganic dust form helical structures and go through other "lifelike" changes.
Originally posted by Grey Magic
Oh no, it's the Crystal Entity from Star Trek the next generation.
Fascinating discovery, I wonder what it means.
While there's no convincing argument restricting life to "gooey squidgy stuff", we're afraid this result has much more to do with promotion than actual science. The core of their argument appears to be that certain helical structures which form in a plasma resemble the helices of DNA - anyone familiar with magnetic fields, or indeed the very idea of "one thing looking like another thing", will realize that a helical shape does not a lifeform make. It's an excellent attempt to garner attention for a moderately interesting (if extremely specific) set of calculations, but that's all.