Carbon Helix Bond

Alexander Berezin berezin at MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA
Wed Apr 9 21:42:34 EST 1997


On Wed, 9 Apr 1997, Rob wrote:

>  I was wondering if Silicon could form a double helix bond like like the
> one carbon forms in DNA?  Please respond as soon as possible.
>                     thanks, justin
> 

In about 1990 I heard lecture of Nobel Prize laureate
George Wald from Harvard. He was asked exactly this same 
question. His answer was that the unique position of Carbon
is its ability to form LINEAR polymer chains, and also 
its ability to form saturated and unsaturated bonds. 
You may better check with chemist, but I doubt that Si
has the latter ability. This does not mean though, that
there can't be Si life, because DNA is not necessarily
compulsory element for life. Look Frank Tipler "Physics
of Immortality" (ca. 1995). He discusses several 
alternative lifeforms.
Alex Berezin





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