Is water always necessary for life? © iStock

Is water always necessary for life?

Water, water, everywhere…. what happens when you don’t stay hydrated?

Asked by: Sarah Hollis, Manchester

Advertisement

All known life needs liquid water to function properly. It’s essential in part because water is such a good solvent, readily dissolving and transporting nutrients across a wide range of temperatures. Its molecules also play a key role in ensuring proteins behave properly. But some scientists suspect alien life may have evolved to exploit alternative chemicals like hydrocarbons capable of performing the same roles.


Advertisement

Subscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun science facts.