Science Focus - the home of BBC Science Focus Magazine

Is water always necessary for life?

Subscribe to BBC Science Focus Magazine and get 6 issues for just £9.99

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.

Read more:


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.

Authors

Robert is a science writer and visiting professor of science at Aston University.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sponsored content