Chemical Biosignatures at the Origins
Chemists searching for chemical biosignatures begin to define the chemical prerequisites for the emergence of life, a process based on organized molecules capable of self-reproduction and also with the capability of evolution. It is generally accepted that these prerequisites are liquid water and organic molecules, i.e. molecules that contained carbon and hydrogen atoms associated with atoms of oxygen, nitrogen and sulphur. This is not just an anthropocentric point of view, since water and carbon chemistry have very specific peculiarities. Two different kinds of chemical biosignatures are considered: an overrepresentation of organics and a long strand of homochiral sequences.
The occasion is given here to thank all the exo/astrobiologists I have met for the quality of their company while enjoying good science, good food, and good wine. They are too numerous to be quoted individually, but they know who they are, for sure. I thank also CNES and ESA for their constant support.
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