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New Scientist talks about “fine-tuned for life”

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water you never knew, crashing around you

In “Water’s quantum weirdness makes life possible” ( New Scientist, 25 October 2011), Lisa Grossman reports:

Salmon and colleagues shot beams of neutrons at different versions of water, and studied the way they bounced off the atoms – a precise way to measure bond lengths. They also substituted heavier oxygen atoms into both heavy and normal water, which allowed them to determine which bonds they were measuring.

They found that the hydrogen-oxygen bonds were slightly longer than the deuterium-oxygen ones, which is what you would expect if quantum uncertainty was affecting water’s structure (Physical Review Letters, DOI: 10.1103/physrevlett.107.145501). “No one has ever really measured that before,” says Benmore.

We are used to the idea that the cosmos’s physical constants are fine-tuned for life. Now it seems water’s quantum forces can be added to this “just right” list.

Whattan accident.

2 Replies to “New Scientist talks about “fine-tuned for life”

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Now this is cool!:

    Brief notes on ‘anomalies’ of water:

    Water’s remarkable capabilities – December 2010 – Peer Reviewed
    Excerpt: All these traits are contained in a simple molecule of only three atoms. One of the most difficult tasks for an engineer is to design for multiple criteria at once. … Satisfying all these criteria in one simple design is an engineering marvel. Also, the design process goes very deep since many characteristics would necessarily be changed if one were to alter fundamental physical properties such as the strong nuclear force or the size of the electron.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....42211.html

    Protein Folding: One Picture Per Millisecond Illuminates The Process – 2008
    Excerpt: The RUB-chemists initiated the folding process and then monitored the course of events. It turned out that within less than ten milliseconds, the motions of the water network were altered as well as the protein itself being restructured. “These two processes practically take place simultaneously“, Prof. Havenith-Newen states, “they are strongly correlated.“ These observations support the yet controversial suggestion that water plays a fundamental role in protein folding, and thus in protein function, and does not stay passive.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....075610.htm

    Water Is ‘Designer Fluid’ That Helps Proteins Change Shape – 2008
    Excerpt: “When bound to proteins, water molecules participate in a carefully choreographed ballet that permits the proteins to fold into their functional, native states. This delicate dance is essential to life.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....113314.htm

    Just how ‘surprising’ this ability is, of water to ‘dance’ with protein molecules, is illustrated by realizing just how dramatic this change is in the thermodynamic behavior of water. Contrary to popular belief, ‘just add water’ does not make life inevitable for any exo-planet we may find:

    Abiogenic Origin of Life: A Theory in Crisis – Arthur V. Chadwick, Ph.D.
    Excerpt: The synthesis of proteins and nucleic acids from small molecule precursors represents one of the most difficult challenges to the model of prebiological evolution. There are many different problems confronted by any proposal. Polymerization is a reaction in which water is a product. Thus it will only be favored in the absence of water. The presence of precursors in an ocean of water favors depolymerization of any molecules that might be formed. Careful experiments done in an aqueous solution with very high concentrations of amino acids demonstrate the impossibility of significant polymerization in this environment. A thermodynamic analysis of a mixture of protein and amino acids in an ocean containing a 1 molar solution of each amino acid (100,000,000 times higher concentration than we inferred to be present in the prebiological ocean) indicates the concentration of a protein containing just 100 peptide bonds (101 amino acids) at equilibrium would be 10^-338 molar. Just to make this number meaningful, our universe may have a volume somewhere in the neighborhood of 10^85 liters. At 10^-338 molar, we would need an ocean with a volume equal to 10^229 universes (100, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000) just to find a single molecule of any protein with 100 peptide bonds. So we must look elsewhere for a mechanism to produce polymers. It will not happen in the ocean.
    http://origins.swau.edu/papers.....fault.html

    Verse and Music:

    John 4:10
    Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

    Thirst For You
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gh2W-Xrk7vE

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Flyleaf – Chasm (Living Water)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-BvOuE7wfw

    Alison Krauss – Down in the River to Pray
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgVL-rBq9Fw

    John 4:10
    Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

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