Life 'maybe not as we understand it' potential on Saturn's moon Titan

February 28, 2015 1:30 AM

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Taking a simultaneously imaginative and rigidly scientific view, chemical engineers and astronomers present a template for life that could thrive in a harsh, cold planet -- specifically Titan, the giant moon of Saturn. A planetary physique awash with seas not of water, but of liquid methane, Titan could harbor methane-based, oxygen-free cells.

Their theorized cell membrane, composed of smaller organic nitrogen compounds and capable of functioning in liquid methane temperatures of 292 degrees beneath zero, is published in Science Advances, Feb. 27. The perform is led by chemical molecular dynamics specialist Paulette Clancy and 1st author ...

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