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Extreme Biology – Life at All Scales and Energies


Extreme Biology – Life at All Scales and Energies


A range of fixations plaguing the astrobiology network concerning the pre-specifications for lifestyles is retarding biology’s development and looking for new life inside the universe. These fixations work as smokescreens to obscure the myriads of other forms of life paperwork that may be thriving even in our Solar System. Astrobiologists, especially at NASA, appear to have a dogmatic fixation on studying lifestyles best at the biochemical stage, a pre-profession with water as a substrate for existence, adamant on most effective analyzing carbon-primarily based existence forms, confined to a totally narrow temperature variety and scale; and no longer even noticing that every one the life forms that they have imagined in their wildest fashions are handiest based on debris inside the (physicists’) Standard Model.


Physics influences biology in a greater fundamental way than even chemistry or biochemistry. New trends in physics need to open up areas to consider more extreme lifestyles paperwork. If we discover dark count and supersymmetric particles – might biologists then begin thinking about dark be counted and supersymmetric existence forms? Should we be talking about “quantum biology”? When physicists communicate in parallel universes, might biologists remember symbiosis between life bureaucracy in parallel universes? Is Darwin’s tree of existence entire? Where are its roots?

Life at Extremely Small Scales – Nano and Quantum Life

Bacteria can be no larger than 10 microns; viruses are no larger than 100 nanometers; molecules approximately 1 nanometer, and atoms are approximately 0.1 nanometers. Does scale impose a barrier to lifestyles or maybe cognizance? If viruses are considered existence forms (as some main astrobiologists argue), they represent “nano-life.”

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Consciousness can also even exist at the quantum scale. “In some odd way, an electron or a photon [or any other elementary particle] appears to ‘recognize’ about changes in the environment and looks to reply for this reason,” says physicist Danah Zohar. An organization at the Weizmann Institute in Israel has accomplished a famous “double-slit” test. They used electrons, in preference to photons, and located how the ensuing interference pattern (which suggests wave-like properties of the particle) dissipated the longer you suspect the electrons undergo the slits. Like a wave, the electron passes through each slit simultaneously; however, if, in step with E Buks, it “senses” that it is being watched, the electron (as a particle) goes via only one direction, diminishing the interference sample. Elementary particles (which include photons and electrons) seem to own a certain degree of “intelligence” and attention to the surroundings. Renowned plasma and particle physicist, David Bohm, says “In a few since a rudimentary thoughts-like high-quality is a gift even at the level of particle physics. As we go to subtler degrees, this mind-like excellent will become stronger and extra advanced.”

In a brand new area referred to as “quantum metaphysics,” Jay Alfred has proposed that recognition is as essential assets to primary debris as properties that make it “count” or a “bodily pressure” (as an instance, mass, spin, and fee) (see Conscious Particles, Fields and Waves, 2007). And just as mass, spin, and price fluctuate from one particle to another, it’s miles in all likelihood that special debris has one-of-a-kind tiers of consciousness. He has argued (see Jay Alfred, Our Invisible Bodies, 2006) that awareness can occur depending on the diploma of quantum coherence and the unmarried particle’s intrinsic properties. (This may be referred to because of the “Quantum Coherence Theory of Consciousness.”)

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In reading particle awareness, we have not to get distracted with the aid of their scale. In fact, (under the quantum subject principle) particles are excitations in a subject that can be infinitely massive. Every particle has a corresponding discipline. If a particle is considered a “unicellular lifestyle shape,” then a discipline of debris can be taken into consideration a “multicellular lifestyle form” – besides that, these “cells” cross inside and out of life inside the field. This manifestly begs the question – Is the biochemical mobile the smallest unit of life? If not, then an organic revolution, greater essential than the Copernican revolution in phrases of its effect on society, is around the corner.

Life at Extremely Large Scales

Life at all scales is likely – such as at the planetary, stellar and galactic scales; or even the universe and multiverse. James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis have proposed the Gaia speculation. Jay Alfred has proposed existence at cosmic and worldwide scales by the usage of the “plasma metaphysics” version, which believes that an extensive set of currents in the area and on Earth exists that’s both anatomically and physiologically much like a neural community within the human mind. (See Are We Living in a Gigantic Brain? 2007) This set of currents in an area not simplest seems like a neural network, it capabilities like one. We ought not to be surprised to look at existence being engineered using an electromagnetic substrate. A biochemical mobile’s membrane is now the idea to feature like a semiconductor.

Perhaps a concept experiment may be enlightening. Imagine yourself as a cell inside your brain, cautiously staring at your surroundings with a nano-telescope. Would you recollect your mind as being capable of aid cognizance? What you would see are neural cells alternately firing and resting, chemical compounds rushing to synapses, and the zapping of nasty electrical currents – simply now not a totally “liveable sector” for existence or awareness to existing – from your microscopic point of view. But we recognize higher…

Could the plasma universe, with its network of currents, be a dwelling, aware entity? Was the quark-gluon plasma ball that inflated for the duration of the Big Bang a life shape?

High Energy Biology – Life at High Energies and Temperatures

At excessive temperatures, molecules cut up into atoms, and atoms break up right into a soup of sub-atomic particles referred to as plasma. (Partially ionized gases are also described as “plasma.”) Plasma lifestyles bureaucracy is in all likelihood to be the most not unusual life shape within the universe because plasma makes up greater than 99% of our seen universe, which is sort of everywhere ionized. This is in stark contrast to complex carbon-primarily based lifestyle forms. In keeping with the Rare Earth speculation proposed through Peter Ward and Donald Brownlee, it would be rare within the universe due to several factors – such as the want for a suitable variety of temperatures to continue to exist.

Plasma is an excellent substrate for lifestyles at high temperatures. Plasma life paperwork could adapt to environments that could be considered instead of carbon-primarily based lifestyles bureaucracy. It is feasible that plasma life bureaucracy was already gifted inside the gas and materials that fashioned the Earth four.6 billion years in the past. Carbon-based biomolecular life bureaucracy only seemed 1 billion years later. Tsytovich and other scientists (which includes Lozneanu and Sanduloviciu, mentioned under) have proposed that plasma life forms, in truth, spurred the development of organic carbon-based totally life on Earth.

In 2003 physicists; Erzilia Lozneanu and Mircea Sanduloviciu of Cuza University, Romania, described in their research paper Minimal Cell System created in Laboratory through Self-Organization (published in Chaos, Solitons & Fractals, quantity 18, page 335) how they created plasma spheres within the laboratory that may grow, mirror and speak – enjoyable maximum of the conventional requirements for biological cells. The physicists “grew” spheres from a few micrometers up to three centimeters in diameter. They are satisfied that these plasma spheres offer a noticeably new clarification of how existence started and proposed that they had been precursors to organic evolution. Lozneanu plasma spheres can reproduce through replicating, similar to bacteria that are typically taken into consideration “immortal” and do now not go through “apoptosis” or programmed cell loss of life.

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It remains a thriller in mainstream biology as to how DNA originated. An international clinical crew has discovered that particles in the plasma will bead collectively to form string-like filaments that allow you to then twist into helical strands akin to DNA within the gravity-unfastened surroundings of the area, which are electrically charged and are attracted to each different. Using a laptop version of molecular dynamics, V N Tsytovich and his colleagues of the Russian Academy of Science confirmed (in their paper entitled From Plasma Crystals and Helical Structures in the direction of Inorganic Living Matter, posted in the New Journal of Physics in August 2007) that particles in a plasma can go through self-enterprise as electric fees become separated and the plasma turns into polarized. “These complex, self-prepared plasma structures exhibit all of the important properties to qualify them as applicants for inorganic residing rely on,” says Tsytovich, “they’re independent, they reproduce, and that they evolve.”

Samuel J. Morales

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