Incorporating silicon is one thing. It's not unlike incorporating calcium for use in bones, or iron for use in blood. Life requires a great deal of chemical diversity and silicon just isn't chemically capable of that kind of diversity under any known conditions (temperature and pressure). Fats, Carbohydrates, Nucleic Acids, and Proteins are all carbon based and represent an enormous diversity of chemical structures. You just can't come close to that with silicon based molecules.
I'm not aware of silicon being used in an "organic" fashion. I'd love to see examples, though.
I seem to remember learning that some living organisms on earth incorporate silicon in an organic manner.
As I remember it was mainly single-celled organisms, some plankton and some mosses.
I am going back 40 years but I seem to remember that some friend-of-a-friend was going to do a PhD studying Canadian moss that includes silicon-based organic chemistry.
Perhaps he never found the moss and never got his PhD.
NASA's Orion Flight Software Production Systems Manager Darrel G. Raines joins Planet Analog Editor Steve Taranovich and Embedded.com Editor Max Maxfield to talk about embedded flight software used in Orion Spacecraft, part of NASA's Mars mission. Live radio show and live chat. Get your questions ready.
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