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Are we looking for aliens in the wrong places?

August 26, 2007
clipped from science.howstuffworks.com

Are we looking for aliens in the wrong places?

The universe is filled with massive clouds of dust. From past studies, scientists have learned that this cosmic dust can, in the presence of plasma, creates formations known as plasma crystals. An international team of researchers published a study in the Aug.14, 2007, issue of the New Journal of Physics that indicates that these crystals may be more sophisticated than anyone realized. In simulations involving cosmic dust, the researchers witnessed the formation of plasma crystals displaying some of the elementary characteristics of life — DNA-like structure, autonomous behavior, reproduction and evolution.

DNA
Image courtesy U.S. National Library of Medicine
In simulations, plasma crystals
sometimes assume the double-helix
shape of DNA.


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