Missing element for life may be present in ocean of Enceladus

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The ocean inside Saturn’s moon Enceladus may be enriched with phosphorus, an important element for life as we know it, new research reveals.

Phosphorus is a vital component of life’s biochemistry. For instance, it joins with sugars to provide a “backbone” to DNA, bonding the four nucleobases to the double helix. Phosphorus is also used in cell membranes and bones, as well as in a molecule called adenosine triphosphate, which carries metabolic energy around the body.

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