APOD: Biomarker Phosphine Discovered in of... (2020 Sep 15)

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APOD: Biomarker Phosphine Discovered in of... (2020 Sep 15)

Post by APOD Robot » Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:06 am

Image Biomarker Phosphine Discovered in the Atmosphere of Venus

Explanation: Could there be life floating in the atmosphere of Venus? Although Earth's planetary neighbor has a surface considered too extreme for any known lifeform, Venus' upper atmosphere may be sufficiently mild for tiny airborne microbes. This usually disfavored prospect took an unexpected upturn yesterday with the announcement of the discovery of Venusian phosphine. The chemical phosphine (PH3) is a considered a biomarker because it seems so hard to create from routine chemical processes thought to occur on or around a rocky world such as Venus -- but it is known to be created by microbial life on Earth. The featured image of Venus and its thick clouds was taken in two bands of ultraviolet light by the Venus-orbing Akatsuki, a Japanese robotic satellite that has been orbiting the cloud-shrouded world since 2015. The phosphine finding, if confirmed, may set off renewed interest in searching for other indications of life floating high in the atmosphere of our Solar System's second planet out from the Sun.

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Re: APOD: Biomarker Phosphine Discovered in of... (2020 Sep 15)

Post by bystander » Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:13 am

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Re: APOD: Biomarker Phosphine Discovered in of... (2020 Sep 15)

Post by guenthert » Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:49 am

> The phosphine finding, if confirmed, may set off renewed interest in searching for other indications of life floating high in the atmosphere of our Solar System's second planet out from the Sun.

Or, it may diminish our hopes of identifying life-bearing planets using spectroscopy. If lead melts on the surface, how far could life progress in the outer atmosphere?

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Re: APOD: Biomarker Phosphine Discovered in of... (2020 Sep 15)

Post by XgeoX » Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:50 am

guenthert wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:49 am
> The phosphine finding, if confirmed, may set off renewed interest in searching for other indications of life floating high in the atmosphere of our Solar System's second planet out from the Sun.

Or, it may diminish our hopes of identifying life-bearing planets using spectroscopy. If lead melts on the surface, how far could life progress in the outer atmosphere?
Who really knows? Right now when it comes to life we have a sample size of one so we really have no way of knowing how life might progress on other worlds.

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio!

But you are probably right, while learning there is a non-biological source for phosphine we also lose a biological marker... 😔.

eric

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Re: APOD: Biomarker Phosphine Discovered in of... (2020 Sep 15)

Post by JohnD » Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:53 am

Don't panic, Capt.Mannering!
Or rather, let's be properly scientific here. Is this an unique finding? No.

Phosphine has been found in the cloud cover of Jupiter and Saturn.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 3509001328

Why is it a game changer when it's found on Venus' cloud tops? If it occurs in the clouds of Major Planets, then it's NOT the unique biomarker it's cracked up to be, or else we don't know as much as we thought about non-bio chemistry (Surprise!).
John

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Re: APOD: Biomarker Phosphine Discovered in of... (2020 Sep 15)

Post by orin stepanek » Tue Sep 15, 2020 12:24 pm

VenusClouds_Akatzuki_960.jpg
Nobody will really know unless it gets found! :rocketship:
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Re: APOD: Biomarker Phosphine Discovered in of... (2020 Sep 15)

Post by Chris Peterson » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:41 pm

XgeoX wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:50 am
But you are probably right, while learning there is a non-biological source for phosphine we also lose a biological marker... 😔.
No. It's still a biological marker. It just isn't perfect. Kind of like methane. These are molecules that we'll still be looking for on other planets, because they provide evidence of life, even if they don't provide proof.
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Re: APOD: Biomarker Phosphine Discovered in of... (2020 Sep 15)

Post by neufer » Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:09 pm

JohnD wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:53 am

Is this an unique finding? No.

Phosphine has been found in the cloud cover of Jupiter and Saturn.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 3509001328

Why is it a game changer when it's found on Venus' cloud tops? If it occurs in the clouds of Major Planets, then it's NOT the unique biomarker it's cracked up to be, or else we don't know as much as we thought about non-bio chemistry (Surprise!).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phosphine wrote: <<Phosphine is a constituent of the Earth's atmosphere at very low and highly variable concentrations. It may contribute significantly to the global phosphorus biochemical cycle. The most likely source is reduction of phosphate in decaying organic matter, possibly via partial reductions and disproportionations, since environmental systems do not have known reducing agents of sufficient strength to directly convert phosphate to phosphine. It is also found in Jupiter's turbulent atmosphere, where it forms in the planet's hot interior and reacts with other compounds in the upper atmosphere. The abiotic synthesis of phosphine takes enormous amounts of energy, such as in the planet-sized convective storms of gas giants. Pure phosphine is odorless, but technical grade samples have a highly unpleasant odor like garlic or rotting fish.

Phosphine has also been detected in the temperate zone of Venus' atmosphere (approximately 50 km altitude) at 20 ppb, a concentration which is not possible with known chemical processes. Venus lacks the high temperatures and pressures to form phosphine the way gas giants such as Jupiter do, thus another explanation for its presence is required. It is not expected that phosphine would persist in the Venusian atmosphere, since being subject to ultraviolet radiation, it would eventually be consumed by water and carbon dioxide, thus it would have to be replenished. The paper announcing the discovery suggests that the phosphine "could originate from unknown photochemistry or geochemistry, or, by analogy with biological production of PH3 on Earth, from the presence of life". For this reason phosphine has been proposed to be a usable biosignature for astrobiology. PH3 is associated with anaerobic ecosystems on Earth, which may be indicative of life on anoxic exoplanets. As of 2019, no known abiotic process generates phosphine gas on terrestrial planets in appreciable quantities, so detectable amounts of phosphine could indicate life.>>
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikhail_Lomonosov#Astronomer wrote: <<Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov (Михаи́л (Михáйло) Васи́льевич Ломоно́сов, November 19 [O.S. November 8] 1711 – April 15 [O.S. April 4] 1765) was a Russian polymath, scientist and writer, who made important contributions to literature, education, and science. Among his discoveries was the law of conservation of mass in chemical reactions. His spheres of science were natural science, chemistry, physics, mineralogy, history, art, philology, optical devices and others. Lomonosov was also a poet and influenced the formation of the modern Russian literary language. In May 1743, Lomonosov was accused, arrested, and held under house arrest for eight months, after he supposedly insulted various people associated with the Academy. He was released and pardoned in January 1744 after apologising to all involved.

Lomonosov was the first to discover and appreciate the atmosphere of Venus during his observation of the transit of Venus of 1761 in a small observatory near his house in St Petersburg. In June 2012 a group of astronomers carried out experimental reconstruction of Lomonosov's discovery of Venusian atmosphere with antique refractors during the transit of Venus (5–6 June 2012). They concluded that Lomonosov's telescope was fully adequate to the task of detecting the arc of light around Venus off the Sun's disc during ingress or egress if proper experimental techniques as described by Lomonosov in his 1761 paper are employed.

In 1762, Lomonosov presented an improved design of a reflecting telescope to the Russian Academy of Sciences forum. His telescope had its primary mirror adjusted at an angle of four degrees to the telescope's axis. This made the image focus at the side of the telescope tube, where the observer could view the image with an eyepiece without blocking the image. However, this invention was not published until 1827, so this type of telescope has become associated with a similar design by William Herschel, the Herschelian telescope.>>
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Re: APOD: Biomarker Phosphine Discovered in of... (2020 Sep 15)

Post by JohnD » Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:48 pm

"Venus lacks the high temperatures and pressures to form phosphine the way gas giants such as Jupiter do,"

Pressure at ground level on Venus 100bar. 100 times Earth at sea level, or 1x 10^7 Pascals. Temp 770K

Pressure on Jupiter doesn't reach that until you are about 500 kilometers below the water cloud layer, where the temperature will be about the same. There must be an awful lot more of Jupiter's atmospher than Venus', so why does Venus lack the necessary conditions?

I'm not denying this is an exciting finding, but everyone is jumping around saying, Life on Venus!!! Even the respected "Sky at Night" prog on BBC TV last night raised no contradictions. Just, "there's no way that phosphine can form without life!" Clearly, there IS a way, and it happens in hot, high pressure atmospheres. If Venus has a LOT of phosphione then that's another indicator, like methane on Mars, but let's be rational and scientific! Propse alternative arguments, and (S@N said they will) do it again!
John

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Re: APOD: Biomarker Phosphine Discovered in of... (2020 Sep 15)

Post by BDanielMayfield » Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:59 pm

JohnD wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:53 am
Don't panic, Capt.Mannering!
Or rather, let's be properly scientific here. Is this an unique finding? No.

Phosphine has been found in the cloud cover of Jupiter and Saturn.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 3509001328

Why is it a game changer when it's found on Venus' cloud tops? If it occurs in the clouds of Major Planets, then it's NOT the unique biomarker it's cracked up to be, or else we don't know as much as we thought about non-bio chemistry (Surprise!).
John
JohnD wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:48 pm
"Venus lacks the high temperatures and pressures to form phosphine the way gas giants such as Jupiter do,"

Pressure at ground level on Venus 100bar. 100 times Earth at sea level, or 1x 10^7 Pascals. Temp 770K

Pressure on Jupiter doesn't reach that until you are about 500 kilometers below the water cloud layer, where the temperature will be about the same. There must be an awful lot more of Jupiter's atmospher than Venus', so why does Venus lack the necessary conditions?

I'm not denying this is an exciting finding, but everyone is jumping around saying, Life on Venus!!! Even the respected "Sky at Night" prog on BBC TV last night raised no contradictions. Just, "there's no way that phosphine can form without life!" Clearly, there IS a way, and it happens in hot, high pressure atmospheres. If Venus has a LOT of phosphione then that's another indicator, like methane on Mars, but let's be rational and scientific! Propse alternative arguments, and (S@N said they will) do it again!
John
Two excellent, well reasoned comments JohnD. :clap:
Just as zero is not equal to infinity, everything coming from nothing is illogical.

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Re: APOD: Biomarker Phosphine Discovered in of... (2020 Sep 15)

Post by neufer » Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:03 pm


JohnD wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:48 pm

I'm not denying this is an exciting finding, but
everyone is jumping around saying, Life on Venus!!!
I, for one, don't want to jump up and down and start screaming, "Life! Life!" because that's not what it's about. I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down because I don't want to create a panic.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abbott_and_Costello_Go_to_Mars wrote:
<<Abbott and Costello Go to Mars is a 1953 American science fiction comedy film. Lester (Bud Abbott) and Orville (Lou Costello) accidentally find themselves aboard a rocketship bound for Mars, or so they think. Despite the film's title, no character in the film travels to the planet Mars. Instead, they wind up landing on the planet Venus, where they encounter a civilization consisting entirely of beautiful women. Upon returning to the Earth, the men are lauded as heroes in a parade, but Queen Allura, who is watching the celebration from Venus, sends a spaceship to Earth that drops a cake on Orville's head.>>
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Re: APOD: Biomarker Phosphine Discovered in of... (2020 Sep 15)

Post by BDanielMayfield » Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:41 pm

neufer wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:03 pm
JohnD wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:48 pm
I'm not denying this is an exciting finding, but
everyone is jumping around saying, Life on Venus!!!
I, for one, don't want to jump up and down and start screaming, "Life! Life!" because that's not what it's about. I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down because I don't want to create a panic.
Yes, this is certainly interesting, but nothing panic over for sure, whatever one's beliefs are re the origin of life.

Most likely there is some as yet unknown abiotic process producing PH3 in the Venusian atmosphere, just as some abiotic cause occasionally releases whiffs of CH4 on Mars.

But in both planet's cases, I remain in favor of hard science missions to confirm or refute biological causes for the presence of these trace gasses.

Bruce
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Re: APOD: Biomarker Phosphine Discovered in of... (2020 Sep 15)

Post by bystander » Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:05 pm

BDanielMayfield wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:41 pm
Most likely there is some as yet unknown abiotic process producing PH3 in the Venusian atmosphere, just as some abiotic cause occasionally releases whiffs of CH4 on Mars.
bystander wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:45 pm
Possible Marker of Life Spotted on Venus
ESO Science Release | ALMA | 2020 Sep 14
...
The international team, which includes researchers from the UK, US and Japan, estimates that phosphine exists in Venus’s clouds at a small concentration, only about 20 molecules in every billion. Following their observations, they ran calculations to see whether these amounts could come from natural non-biological processes on the planet. Some ideas included sunlight, minerals blown upwards from the surface, volcanoes, or lightning, but none of these could make anywhere near enough of it. These non-biological sources were found to make at most one 10,000th of the amount of phosphine that the telescopes saw. ...
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Re: APOD: Biomarker Phosphine Discovered in of... (2020 Sep 15)

Post by bystander » Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:12 pm

guenthert wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:49 am
The phosphine finding, if confirmed, may set off renewed interest in searching for other indications of life floating high in the atmosphere of our Solar System's second planet out from the Sun.
bystander wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:05 pm
Breakthrough Initiatives to Fund Study into
Search for Primitive Life in the Clouds of Venus

Breakthrough Initiatives | 2020 Sep 15
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
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Re: APOD: Biomarker Phosphine Discovered in of... (2020 Sep 15)

Post by BDanielMayfield » Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:23 pm

bystander wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:05 pm
BDanielMayfield wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:41 pm
Most likely there is some as yet unknown abiotic process producing PH3 in the Venusian atmosphere, just as some abiotic cause occasionally releases whiffs of CH4 on Mars.
ESO/ALMA wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:45 pm
Possible Marker of Life Spotted on Venus
ESO Science Release | ALMA | 2020 Sep 14
...
The international team, which includes researchers from the UK, US and Japan, estimates that phosphine exists in Venus’s clouds at a small concentration, only about 20 molecules in every billion. Following their observations, they ran calculations to see whether these amounts could come from natural non-biological processes on the planet. Some ideas included sunlight, minerals blown upwards from the surface, volcanoes, or lightning, but none of these could make anywhere near enough of it. These non-biological sources were found to make at most one 10,000th of the amount of phosphine that the telescopes saw. ...
However, note this sentence from the above article:
Although the high clouds of Venus have temperatures up to a pleasant 30 degrees Celsius, they are incredibly acidic — around 90% sulphuric acid — posing major issues for any microbes trying to survive there.
Indeed. I wonder, just for comparison, what is the most acidic condition any acidophilic Earthly bacteria can survive?
Just as zero is not equal to infinity, everything coming from nothing is illogical.

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Re: APOD: Biomarker Phosphine Discovered in of... (2020 Sep 15)

Post by SeedsofEarfth » Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:33 pm

Since several probes have been sent to Venus, and several have actually entered the planet's atmosphere, it is quite possible, despite the painstaking efforts to completely sterilize all of the equipment being sent there, that some microbial life might just have been carried to Venus from the earth, and that said microbial life escaped into the atmosphere from one or more of these probes, and that that said microbial life managed to thrive in the upper atmosphere, resulting in the presence of this phosphine. Just a thought. Can't rule out anything until we've had an opportunity to actuall acquire samples of the stmosphere.

SeedsofEarfth

Re: APOD: Biomarker Phosphine Discovered in of... (2020 Sep 15)

Post by SeedsofEarfth » Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:36 pm

This from New Scientist: The most extreme acidophiles known are microbes of the genus Picrophilus. They thrive at a pH of 0.7, and can grow down to a drain-clearing pH of 0. Both Mars, Europa and the clouds of Venus are thought to be acidic environments, so Earthly acidophiles intrigue scientists looking for life elsewhere.

Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn ... z6Y8ZDE23g

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Re: APOD: Biomarker Phosphine Discovered in of... (2020 Sep 15)

Post by Chris Peterson » Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:44 pm

SeedsofEarfth wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:33 pm
Since several probes have been sent to Venus, and several have actually entered the planet's atmosphere, it is quite possible, despite the painstaking efforts to completely sterilize all of the equipment being sent there, that some microbial life might just have been carried to Venus from the earth, and that said microbial life escaped into the atmosphere from one or more of these probes, and that that said microbial life managed to thrive in the upper atmosphere, resulting in the presence of this phosphine. Just a thought. Can't rule out anything until we've had an opportunity to actuall acquire samples of the stmosphere.
Given just how extreme the conditions are on Venus, and how different from Earth, it seems very unlikely that anything transported to Venus by one of our probes would survive, let alone thrive to the degree necessary to multiply enough to create this much phosphine. If you look at the handful of extremophile cells on Earth that might actually have a chance of doing that, they aren't remotely the sort you'd expect to end up on a space probe, either.
Chris

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Re: APOD: Biomarker Phosphine Discovered in of... (2020 Sep 15)

Post by BDanielMayfield » Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:04 pm

SeedsofEarfth wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:36 pm
This from New Scientist: The most extreme acidophiles known are microbes of the genus Picrophilus. They thrive at a pH of 0.7, and can grow down to a drain-clearing pH of 0. Both Mars, Europa and the clouds of Venus are thought to be acidic environments, so Earthly acidophiles intrigue scientists looking for life elsewhere.

Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn ... z6Y8ZDE23g
Thanks for answering my question SoE, and for sharing that interesting article. Life is tough, once its started, no doubt about it.
Just as zero is not equal to infinity, everything coming from nothing is illogical.

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Re: APOD: Biomarker Phosphine Discovered in of... (2020 Sep 15)

Post by Chris Peterson » Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:07 pm

BDanielMayfield wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:04 pm
SeedsofEarfth wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:36 pm
This from New Scientist: The most extreme acidophiles known are microbes of the genus Picrophilus. They thrive at a pH of 0.7, and can grow down to a drain-clearing pH of 0. Both Mars, Europa and the clouds of Venus are thought to be acidic environments, so Earthly acidophiles intrigue scientists looking for life elsewhere.

Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn ... z6Y8ZDE23g
Thanks for answering my question SoE, and for sharing that interesting article. Life is tough, once its started, no doubt about it.
And we look at how extreme conditions were on Earth when life formed here, it may also be easily started.
Chris

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Re: APOD: Biomarker Phosphine Discovered in of... (2020 Sep 15)

Post by neufer » Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:42 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:07 pm
BDanielMayfield wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:04 pm
SeedsofEarfth wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:36 pm

This from New Scientist: The most extreme acidophiles known are microbes of the genus Picrophilus. They thrive at a pH of 0.7, and can grow down to a drain-clearing pH of 0. Both Mars, Europa and the clouds of Venus are thought to be acidic environments, so Earthly acidophiles intrigue scientists looking for life elsewhere.

Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn ... z6Y8ZDE23g
Thanks for answering my question SoE, and for sharing that interesting article. Life is tough, once its started, no doubt about it.
And we look at how extreme conditions were on Earth when life formed here, it may also be easily started.
  • Just an improved the reproduction system taking advantage of inheritance:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_(magazine) wrote:
<<Life was an American magazine published weekly from 1883 to 1972, as an intermittent "special" until 1978, and as a monthly from 1978 until 2000. Life was founded January 4, 1883, in a New York City artist's studio at 1155 Broadway, as a partnership between John Ames Mitchell and Andrew Miller. Mitchell, a 37-year-old illustrator who used a $10,000 inheritance to invest in the weekly magazine, served as its publisher. He also created the first Life name-plate with cupids as mascots and later on, drew its masthead of a knight leveling his lance at the posterior of a fleeing devil. Then he took advantage of a revolutionary new printing process using zinc-coated plates, which improved the reproduction of his illustrations and artwork. This edge helped because Life faced stiff competition from the best-selling humor magazines Judge and Puck, which were already established and successful. Edward Sandford Martin was brought on as Life's first literary editor; the recent Harvard University graduate was a founder of the Harvard Lampoon.

The motto of the first issue of Life was: "While there's Life, there's hope."

The new magazine set forth its principles and policies to its readers:
  • "We wish to have some fun in this paper...We shall try to domesticate as much as possible of the casual cheerfulness that is drifting about in an unfriendly world...We shall have something to say about religion, about politics, fashion, society, literature, the stage, the stock exchange, and the police station, and we will speak out what is in our mind as fairly, as truthfully, and as decently as we know how."
The magazine was a success and soon attracted the industry's leading contributors. Among the most important was Charles Dana Gibson. Three years after the magazine was founded, the Massachusetts native first sold Life a drawing for $4: a dog outside his kennel howling at the moon. Encouraged by a publisher, also an artist, Gibson was joined in Life early days by well-known illustrators such as: Palmer Cox (creator of the Brownie), A. B. Frost, Oliver Herford and E. W. Kemble. Life attracted an impressive literary roster too: John Kendrick Bangs, James Whitcomb Riley and Brander Matthews all wrote for the magazine around the start of the 20th century.>>
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Re: APOD: Biomarker Phosphine Discovered in of... (2020 Sep 15)

Post by BDanielMayfield » Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:48 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:07 pm
BDanielMayfield wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:04 pm
SeedsofEarfth wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:36 pm
This from New Scientist: The most extreme acidophiles known are microbes of the genus Picrophilus. They thrive at a pH of 0.7, and can grow down to a drain-clearing pH of 0. Both Mars, Europa and the clouds of Venus are thought to be acidic environments, so Earthly acidophiles intrigue scientists looking for life elsewhere.

Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn ... z6Y8ZDE23g
Thanks for answering my question SoE, and for sharing that interesting article. Life is tough, once its started, no doubt about it.
And we look at how extreme conditions were on Earth when life formed here, it may also be easily started.
If abiogenesis were easy, creating life from scratch in the lab should also be easy.

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Re: APOD: Biomarker Phosphine Discovered in of... (2020 Sep 15)

Post by Chris Peterson » Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:52 pm

BDanielMayfield wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:48 pm
Chris Peterson wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:07 pm
BDanielMayfield wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:04 pm


Thanks for answering my question SoE, and for sharing that interesting article. Life is tough, once its started, no doubt about it.
And we look at how extreme conditions were on Earth when life formed here, it may also be easily started.
If abiogenesis were easy, creating life from scratch in the lab should also be easy.
Well, to some extent it has been done in labs, and it will be done regularly and easily in the next few years.

But being easy for nature and being easy in the lab are very different things. Nature offers a huge array of variation and long time scales for selection processes. That isn't usually the case in labs.
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Re: APOD: Biomarker Phosphine Discovered in of... (2020 Sep 15)

Post by BDanielMayfield » Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:42 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:52 pm
BDanielMayfield wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:48 pm
Chris Peterson wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:07 pm
And we look at how extreme conditions were on Earth when life formed here, it may also be easily started.
If abiogenesis were easy, creating life from scratch in the lab should also be easy.
Well, to some extent it has been done in labs, and it will be done regularly and easily in the next few years.

But being easy for nature and being easy in the lab are very different things. Nature offers a huge array of variation and long time scales for selection processes. That isn't usually the case in labs.
Your second paragraph's points are reasonable, but your first is unproven conjecture and wishful thinking.
Just as zero is not equal to infinity, everything coming from nothing is illogical.

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Re: APOD: Biomarker Phosphine Discovered in of... (2020 Sep 15)

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:21 am

BDanielMayfield wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:42 pm
Chris Peterson wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:52 pm
BDanielMayfield wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:48 pm


If abiogenesis were easy, creating life from scratch in the lab should also be easy.
Well, to some extent it has been done in labs, and it will be done regularly and easily in the next few years.

But being easy for nature and being easy in the lab are very different things. Nature offers a huge array of variation and long time scales for selection processes. That isn't usually the case in labs.
Your second paragraph's points are reasonable, but your first is unproven conjecture and wishful thinking.
Life has been created in the lab from scratch. But it was done using the known chemistry of existing life. Most of the bits and pieces of complete self-assembly have been done in the lab, as well. It would be remarkable not not to see more of the same very soon. I read papers about synthetic life all the time. It's not conjecture or wishful thinking. It's pretty much here.
Chris

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Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com