JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 1543
Tuesday, 21 August 2007 19:05

Space dust in plasma organizes into double helix shape'”like DNA

Researchers used computer modeling to show that microscopic inorganic interstellar dust (space dust) injected into plasma will organize into single and double-helixes, the shape of DNA, with properties that look similar to living organisms.

An international team of researchers, from Russia, Germany, and Australia, suggest from their study that when electrically charged interstellar dust particles (those in plasma, the fourth state of matter) are in a microgravity environment of space (commonly called zero gravity) they are attracted to each other. Thus, they join together in a string-like configuration and then twist themselves into spiral (corkscrew-like) shapes.

DNA is deoxyribonucleic acid, the substance that carries an organism's genetic information. Plasma is the fourth state of matter (the other three being gas, liquid, solid), which is ionized gas, such as what is found in stars.

The shape was held together by electromagnetic forces. It appeared to the scientists that the group of dust particles could reproduce, transferring the information acquired as to its helix shape into the next generation.

The researchers suggest that the final shape allows the dust to better adapt to and survive in their environment. Team member V. N. Tsytovich, of the Russian Academy of Science, states in the Space.com article “Hot Gas in Space Mimics Life,” “These complex, self-organized plasma structures exhibit all the necessary properties to quality them as candidates for inorganic living matter.”

However, Gregor Morfill, another team member, from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, states in the same article, “I would hesitate to call it life. The reason why we published this paper is not because we wanted to suggest this could evolve into life, but because we wanted to start the discussion … once more of what exactly do we mean by life.”

The team’s article (“From plasma crystals and helical structures towards inorganic living matter”) is published in the August 14, 2007 issue of the New Journal of Physics.

Their abstract includes the following (with sentences bolded for emphasis) :

Complex plasmas may naturally self-organize themselves into stable interacting helical structures that exhibit features normally attributed to organic living matter. The self-organization is based on non-trivial physical mechanisms of plasma interactions involving over-screening of plasma polarization. As a result, each helical string composed of solid microparticles is topologically and dynamically controlled by plasma fluxes leading to particle charging and over-screening, the latter providing attraction even among helical strings of the same charge sign. These interacting complex structures exhibit thermodynamic and evolutionary features thought to be peculiar only to living matter such as bifurcations that serve as `memory marks', self-duplication, metabolic rates in a thermodynamically open system, and non-Hamiltonian dynamics. We examine the salient features of this new complex `state of soft matter' in light of the autonomy, evolution, progenity and autopoiesis principles used to define life. It is concluded that complex self-organized plasma structures exhibit all the necessary properties to qualify them as candidates for inorganic living matter that may exist in space provided certain conditions allow them to evolve naturally.”

The researchers involved with the study include: V. N. Tsytovich and N.G. Gusein-Zade, from the General Physics Institute, Russian Academy of Science; G. E. Morfill and B. A. Klumov, from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (Germany); V. E. Fortov, from the Institute of Physics of Extreme State of Matter, Russian Academy of Science; and S. V. Vladimirov, from the School of Physics, The University of Sydney (Australia).

Please join our community here and become a VIP.

Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here
JOIN our iTWireTV our YouTube Community here


It's all about Webinars.

Marketing budgets are now focused on Webinars combined with Lead Generation.

If you wish to promote a Webinar we recommend at least a 3 to 4 week campaign prior to your event.

The iTWire campaign will include extensive adverts on our News Site itwire.com and prominent Newsletter promotion https://itwire.com/itwire-update.html and Promotional News & Editorial. Plus a video interview of the key speaker on iTWire TV https://www.youtube.com/c/iTWireTV/videos which will be used in Promotional Posts on the iTWire Home Page.

Now we are coming out of Lockdown iTWire will be focussed to assisting with your webinatrs and campaigns and assassistance via part payments and extended terms, a Webinar Business Booster Pack and other supportive programs. We can also create your adverts and written content plus coordinate your video interview.

We look forward to discussing your campaign goals with you. Please click the button below.



iTWire TV offers a unique value to the Tech Sector by providing a range of video interviews, news, views and reviews, and also provides the opportunity for vendors to promote your company and your marketing messages.

We work with you to develop the message and conduct the interview or product review in a safe and collaborative way. Unlike other Tech YouTube channels, we create a story around your message and post that on the homepage of ITWire, linking to your message.

In addition, your interview post message can be displayed in up to 7 different post displays on our the iTWire.com site to drive traffic and readers to your video content and downloads. This can be a significant Lead Generation opportunity for your business.

We also provide 3 videos in one recording/sitting if you require so that you have a series of videos to promote to your customers. Your sales team can add your emails to sales collateral and to the footer of their sales and marketing emails.

See the latest in Tech News, Views, Interviews, Reviews, Product Promos and Events. Plus funny videos from our readers and customers.



Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous