By Frederick I. Ordway (ed.)
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The skin color of the horseshoe crab is gray-brown by day and ash-white by night. Rhythmicity in this color response can be adjusted by changing the dark-light ratio per 24 hr. The fruitfly pupa emerges from its case on a strict 24-hr cycle, or waits for another 24 hr to pass. Selection of periodicities seems arbitrary, but it would be of interest to explore total periods markedly different from 24 hr, as well as constant light and dark. d. Ultraviolet Radiation If there are beneficial effects of ultraviolet radiation, they have yet to be reported.
Possibly, with the exception of liquid ammonia, we might well be hard pressed to recognize life in other nonaqueous liquids, and the writer finds it difficult to formulate even a very hypothetical nonliquid life-form. We still, therefore, restrict these considerations to the water and aqueous systems while assuming that an ammoniacal system might well keep pace with any principles enunciated. a. The Properties of Water Virtually any elementary biology text will somewhere in its first half give one or several paragraphs to a listing of the biologically important properties of water.
H. over them, another possible approach would be immersion in salt solutions. From the foregoing list, phosphoric acid would probably be too acidic, but it is not to be casually eliminated. Organisms capable of growth in saturated solutions of light metal halides such as LiCl would be excellent candidates for extremely dry environments, as they could collect water from an environment of over 900 liter-atm osmotic pressure. Some seeds are known to imbibe water from saturated LiCl, and proteins are reported to hold water in vacuums down to 10~ 3 mmHg .