• These worlds must be significantly hotter than Titan. Bigger molecular cousins to Titan’s methane, such as the octane that helps fuel our vehicles, would also make for far more suitable solvents.
  • Ethers, like DNA and DNA, have simple, repeating backbones, in their case of carbon and oxygen. Structurally, ethers do not have an outward charge, like DNA and RNA. But ethers do possess internal charge repulsions that open up useful “spaces” within the molecules, wherein small elemental chunks can go that work like the DNA’s and RNA’s nucleobases.
  • “Within our own solar system, we do not have a planet big enough, close enough to the Sun, and with the right temperature to support warm hydrocarbon oceans on its surface,” said Benner. “But each week, astronomers are discovering new solar systems other than our own.”

Share This Article