Scientists Find Massive Cloud Of Water In Space, Does This Mean Life Is Out There?
Nope! Headlines like the one above is nothing but clickbait. Read on and find out why…
Water is the most essential substance for life on Earth, as it plays a crucial role in biological processes, however it is also known as the “Universal Solvent” that can dissolve or degrade a vast range of substances such as proteins and the molecules of life, which is the primary reason why it is important for transporting nutrients throughout the body.
However, this paradoxical feature also causes harm to organisms by degrading delicate biological molecules such as DNA.
Water’s solvent properties are due to its polar nature, which means that it has a slight electrical charge at both ends of the molecule. This charge allows water to interact with other polar molecules, like salts and sugars, which are also polar. The hydrogen bonding that occurs between water and these polar molecules enables the solvent to dissolve them and transport them throughout the body.
Amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins, are transported in the body by water. These essential compounds are polarized. Proteins have both a positive and negative end, allowing them to interact with water molecules. When amino acids are transported in water, they are protected from degradation and remain in a stable state, ready to be used to build new proteins as needed.
While water is essential for transporting amino acids and other nutrients, it will cause damage to biological molecules like DNA. DNA is an incredibly important molecule that stores genetic information required for the coding of life, and it is essential that it remains intact and undamaged. Unfortunately, water can cause degradation of DNA through a process known as hydrolysis.
Hydrolysis occurs when water molecules break down chemical bonds in biological molecules like DNA. When a water molecule interacts with a DNA molecule, it can cause a chemical bond to break, leading to the degradation of the DNA. This can be especially problematic for organisms living in aquatic environments, where water is ubiquitous.
Despite the potential harm that water can cause to biological molecules like DNA, the benefits of its solvent properties are equally necessary for breaking proteins down. The ability of water to transport nutrients and amino acids throughout the body is essential for the survival of all living organisms. It is a paradox that a substance that is so beneficial can also be harmful, but such is the complexity of water or rather how complex systems utilize the features of water to sustain and build life.
The Paradox is easily solved if you know that there is an Engineer taking advantage of water’s dynamic properties.
Oh! NASA, why say it is a well-known fact or problem when most believe the simple phrase
“Water equals life”, when that is mostly not true.