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Astronomers report planet better than Earth!
(07-05-2015, 05:57 AM)iancampbell Wrote: Bear - I think it's worth mentioning that the existing triplet code has a fair amount of room for expansion. AFAIK, only about 30 of the possible 64 triplets are actually used in Earthly life. And life would probably not necessarily have to use the same amino acids, of the same coding, as ours.

For something a bit more extreme, I offer a very old story (1950s I think) about Earth explorers coming back extremely late, after an accident with an experimental hyperdrive. (Yes, I know OA doesn't have such but it was more of a plot device than anything else.) They found a thriving ecosystem - in a completely unbreathable atmosphere, with life forms that had evolved from some autonomous mining barges left to fend for themselves after some eco-disaster. Basically, a planet full of living robots.

I just wish I could remember the author and where I found it...

There are some interesting analyses of the particular DNA-to-proteins coding we have that seem to indicate that it might actually be an optimal arrangement for error-reduction. For those interested, there's a good summary of this in deDuve's fascinating book on singularities in evolution (not the OA variety, but singular results/events):

Singularities: Landmarks on the Pathways of Life

As for the short story about evolved descendants of self-replicating robots, that was by Poul Anderson and is called "Epilogue". I wish I had a copy, but I just went to look in my library and couldn't find a collection that had it. Memorable, though, and one of the inspirations for the OA Encyclopaedia Galactica article "Stanislaw" (the second inspiration is of course in Stanislaw Lem's book "The Invincible").

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RE: Astronomers report planet better than Earth! - by Matterplay1 - 07-05-2015, 12:04 PM

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