Follow the water, that's what those searching for life elsewhere in the universe must do. But, why can't a form of life exist that does not need water? One pointer has been revealed in the work of Dongping Zhong of The Ohio State University and colleagues who suggest that proteins cannot fold into their functional form in the absence of water, given that various hydrophobic and hydrophilic interactions underpin this process for all proteins. “We believe we now have strong direct evidence that on ultrafast time scales (picoseconds, or trillionths of a second), water modulates protein fluctuations,” Zhong explains. Of course, this still does not answer the question about extraterrestrial life, after all what if there are life forms that do not use proteins at all?
The impossibility of anhydrous life