Publication Abstracts

Hoehler et al. 2018

Hoehler, T.M., S.M. Som, and N. Kiang, 2018: Life's requirements. In Handbook of Exoplanets. H.J. Deeg and J.A. Belmonte, Eds. Springer International, doi:10.1007/978-3-319-30648-3_74-1.

Life on Earth is molecular in nature, with its lifelike attributes — e.g., information processing and catalysis — emerging as a result of both the specific properties of those molecules and the interactions among them. If this is a general model for life, then life must require (i) a source of energy, with which to build and sustain molecular complexity and information processing; (ii) elemental raw materials, from which to construct molecules having specific properties and reactivity; (iii) a solvent that supports the synthesis of the full range of molecules required by life and properly mediates the full range of necessary interactions among those molecules; and (iv) physicochemical conditions in which life's molecules can be synthesized, are appropriately stable, and can interact as needed for lifelike function. For life on Earth, these general requirements, respectively, take the specific form: (i) light energy in visible-to-near-infrared wavelengths or chemical energy as provided by oxidation-reduction disequilibrium, (ii) the "biogenic" elements (carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur) (iii) liquid water, and (iv) specific ranges in temperature, pH, salinity, pressure, and other environmental factors. Our knowledge of these factors relates to cellular life as we observe it now or can infer from the fossil or molecular records. Life's origin may be constrained by a more stringent set of requirements that are, as yet, not fully understood.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Hoehler, T. M. and Som, S. M. and Kiang, N.},
  editor={Deeg, H. J. and Belmonte, J. A.},
  title={Life's requirements},
  booktitle={Handbook of Exoplanets},
  publisher={Springer International},

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RIS Citation

ID  - ho08600q
AU  - Hoehler, T. M.
AU  - Som, S. M.
AU  - Kiang, N.
ED  - Deeg, H. J.
ED  - Belmonte, J. A.
PY  - 2018
TI  - Life's requirements
BT  - Handbook of Exoplanets
DO  - 10.1007/978-3-319-30648-3_74-1
PB  - Springer International
ER  -

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