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← Writing a new code for life?

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Any process that qualifies for the term life will likely have come about through self-replication, mutation, selection, evolution. Our life has originated through the self-replication of organic polymers, built from simpler monomers that are likely to be widespread throughout the cosmos. It's plausible that this may occur elsewhere given equivalent conditions. But if alien replicators use a coded representation of themselves in an analogous way to that used in our life, the details of the code are likely to be totally different to DNA, RNA or TNA, simply because of the trillions upon trillions of alternative permutations of monomer sequences that could potentially carry information representing the replicator's form.

It's conceivable that newly evolved codes may be at a disadvantage if any form of panspermia occurs. Replicators which have evolved on older planets and can travel in a robust form (spores?) through space might then outcompete native replicators for raw material resources and displace newly evolved replicators and their less efficient codes on younger worlds.

Wed, 22 Feb 2012 22:40:38 UTC | #920843