Biological Astronaut

Biological Astronaut

Imagine you are an exploratory astronaut looking for life throughout the universe. One day you encounter a planet that has no carbon present on its surface. However, your instruments register movement and a variety of other signs that make you think life exists on the surface.

 

Part 1:

Look for an element on the periodic table that would act similarly to carbon. Once you have identified one, be sure to discuss the following in your justification.

· Examine and discuss the outer electron shell and chemical bonding characteristics of this new element.

· Specifically describe how the outer shell would make this new element bond as carbon does.

· Then you should specifically discuss or draw two chemical reactions to form macromolecules with this different element. For example, make a molecule like glucose but without any carbons (replace carbon with your new element). Images will work great here; they can be hand or computer drawn or you may be able to find some on the internet.

· Cite your references!

 

Part 2:

Choose two of the defining characteristics of life and design an experiment to test each in your alien lifeform. Be sure that your design includes all the following points.

· Hypothesis

· Dependent and independent variables

· Control and experimental groups

· Standardized variables

· The specific type of data you would collect

· How you would analyze and present these data

· What pieces of data/evidence you would need to support your hypothesis. Alternatively, what evidence would disprove your hypothesis?

Remember to keep things simple and observable. You will most likely have to design 2 different experiments to test the different characteristics.

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