Podcast: Chemistry of the Possible
March’s edition of “Beer with BMSIS” features a conversation with Dr. Jim Cleaves titled The Chemistry of the Possible.
Dr. Cleaves discusses his calculations of the number of biologically possible molecules, and speculates as to the reasons that Earth life uses only a small subset of these molecules. Should we expect life elsewhere to use the same set of amino acids as Earth life, or would extraterrestrial life be based on a notably different set of molecules? These questions will not be easily resolved, but they are fundamental in understanding the origin of life–as well as searching for extraterrestrial life.