Science

Missing element for life could be present in the ocean of Saturn’s moon Enceladus

purple haze shooting down from arc of ice
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The ocean inside Saturn’s moon Enceladus may be enriched in phosphorus, an essential element for life as we know it, new research shows.

Phosphorus is an important part of the biochemistry of life. For example, it combines with sugars to provide a “backbone” for DNA, binding the four nucleobases to the double helix. Phosphorus is also used in cell membranes and bones, and in a molecule called adenosine triphosphate, which carries metabolic energy throughout the body.


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