Re: Hi-temp bio, alternate genetic code (was Re: Planet Densities bl

Eugene Leitl (
Fri, 15 Nov 1996 23:59:47 +0100 (MET)

On Fri, 15 Nov 1996, Michael Butler wrote:

> >I beg to differ, only the biopolymer stuff. I doubt steroids will notice
> >much of it. Just remember the hopanes in microfossils.
> Umm, what's a "hopane"? Pointer, please?

Nothing _very_ interesting, I'm afraid... It's just the evolutionary
precursor to the steroid molecule (that pesky cholesterol is a steroid,
most hormones (testosterone, progesterone) are steroids, as well), only
hopane has a six-membered-ring, where steroid has a five-membered-ring.
Nothing spectacular, just a minor optimization.

Anyway, hopane has gone out of use, only in microfossils & other old
organic stuff can hopane traces be found. Afaik, no critter alive uses is