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Inorganic Particles In Plasma Displays Life-Like Properties Sunday, August 19, 2007

Posted by Henry in biology, DNA, evolution, origin of life, physics, plasma, protein, science, science experiment.

Here is another scientific research report published recently at ScienceDaily, this time regarding a discovery made by physicists that inorganic material shows life-like qualities:

Now, an international team has discovered that under the right conditions, particles of inorganic dust can become organised into helical structures. These structures can then interact with each other in ways that are usually associated with organic compounds and life itself.

In essence, the environment is the fourth state of matter – plasma – where electrons are no longer bounded to atoms. The particles in the plasma sate exhibit the ability of self-organisation to form helical structures, where they attract, divide and bifurcate to form two copies of themselves, interact with other particles – and even evolve into stable structures:

Quite bizarrely, not only do these helical strands interact in a counterintuitive way in which like can attract like, but they also undergo changes that are normally associated with biological molecules, such as DNA and proteins, say the researchers. They can, for instance, divide, or bifurcate, to form two copies of the original structure. These new structures can also interact to induce changes in their neighbours and they can even evolve into yet more structures as less stable ones break down, leaving behind only the fittest structures in the plasma.

I was very excited to read this report – imagine the possibilities this discovery opens up! As the article points out, it could even more conceivable now that non-carbon forms of life exist somewhere out there in the universe. As a matter of fact, Imagine a universe where “life” and perhaps even “intelligence” exist in the state of plasma… this is frankly quite freaky and exciting at the same time.

There is one major issue with the report though. It is not clear to me if this discovery is yet another computer simulation or an actual experimentation (emphasis mine):

However, Tsytovich and his colleagues demonstrated, using a computer model of molecular dynamics, that particles in a plasma can undergo self-organization as electronic charges become separated and the plasma becomes polarized..

Anyone has any ideas? I am leaning to interpret it as a computer model was used for the experiment. I will keep an eye out for it, because this is quite a remarkable discovery.


1. Michael Gronnerud - Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Hello, to hear of the ideas within this report is to further satify our understanding of the very small parts of nature, (see Par Bak). Capra has illustrated, without the use of computers, that autopoesis starts from nothing at all. The hard to ignore part, and probably the scary aspect of our universe is that size doesn’t matter. Literature on this subject is hard to track down but does exist and does hold water. Here is where annealing comes into play, energy landscapes and the formation of crystal structures IS where life originates. Now your on to something, look for yourself!

2. Doc K - Monday, August 16, 2010

The ability to manipulate and play with particles of non matter are the formulae of the creation of life. The ultimate quest…

3. Michael Gronnerud - Friday, November 5, 2010

hey dude, stop stealing my name, firstly. But actually on the topic say, sanitago theory, there is a limit to Per Bak’s ideas in the fact that where scale doesn’t matter, complexity does. He failed to recognize the possibilities of chemicals to re organize, even if they appear inorganically, he fails to appreciate the drive that exists within organic/autopoetic organisms. Life has conspired to detect itself. THE Michael Gronnerud.

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