Alternative biochemistry

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Hypothetical types of biochemistry are forms of biochemistry speculated to be scientifically viable but not proven to exist at this time. While the kinds of living beings we know on earth commonly use carbon for basic structural and metabolic functions, water as a solvent and DNA or RNA to define and control their form, it is possible that undiscovered life-forms could exist that differs radically in their basic structures and biochemistry from that known to science.

The possibility of extraterrestrial life being based on these "alternative" biochemistries is a common subject in science fiction, but is also discussed in a non-fiction scientific context. For example, a committee set up by the United States National Research Council published a 116-page report in 2007[1] which explores "hypothetical alternative chemistries of life."[2]

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