Molecular Biology of the Cell 6th Edition

Published by Garland Science
ISBN 10: 0815344325
ISBN 13: 978-0-81534-432-2

Chapter 1 - End-of-Chapter - Problems: 1-5

Answer

One approach would be to use RNA sequencing to determine the genetic similarity between the sample and various Earth-bound organisms. Another approach would be to perform experiments determining whether the sample has an aerobic or anaerobic means of energy acquisition.

Work Step by Step

One approach would be to use RNA sequencing to determine the genetic similarity between the sample and various Earth-bound organisms. A high relation would indicate that the sample is a contaminant and not a novel discovery. The organisms of Earth all came from a common ancestor and would be more closely related to each other than to an organism outside of the planet. If the sample was a novel cellular form of life, there would be a stark contrast in the genetic makeup of the sample when compared to earthly organisms. Another approach would be to perform experiments exploring the pathway in which the sample acquires energy. If the sample is not able to survive under aerobic conditions, those with ample oxygen, then it likely utilizes an anaerobic means of energy acquisition and therefore is most adapted to Europa's deep-ocean environments. The sample, whose proteins are most adapted to carry out anaerobic activities, would therefore be a novel cellular life-form.
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