Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Review
, 8 (6), 672-89

Is There a Common Chemical Model for Life in the Universe?

Affiliations
Review

Is There a Common Chemical Model for Life in the Universe?

Steven A Benner et al. Curr Opin Chem Biol.

Abstract

A review of organic chemistry suggests that life, a chemical system capable of Darwinian evolution, may exist in a wide range of environments. These include non-aqueous solvent systems at low temperatures, or even supercritical dihydrogen-helium mixtures. The only absolute requirements may be a thermodynamic disequilibrium and temperatures consistent with chemical bonding. A solvent system, availability of elements such as carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen, certain thermodynamic features of metabolic pathways, and the opportunity for isolation, may also define habitable environments. If we constrain life to water, more specific criteria can be proposed, including soluble metabolites, genetic materials with repeating charges, and a well defined temperature range.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 43 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback