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"Life as we know it is universally based on some combination of carbon compounds. But what if life exists based on another element?"
"Carbon-based units?"
"Humans, Ensign Perez. Us."

A carbon-based lifeform was any lifeform, including flora and fauna, that depends upon carbon atoms, and was almost exclusively found on M class planets. (ENT: "Observer Effect"; TNG: "Angel One")

It was believed to be scientifically impossible for carbon cycle lifeforms to inhabit a planet like Excalbia, which had a poisonous atmosphere and surface consisting mostly molten lava, nonetheless, the planet was inhabited by a technologically advanced species. (TOS: "The Savage Curtain")

Humans, for example, were carbon-based. The Starfleet Academy course "Exobiology 101" taught several basics on carbon-based life, such as that the Human immune system was unable to combat non-carbon elements, such as silicon and silicon-based viruses, which could attack the Human body in unpredictable ways. (ENT: "Observer Effect")

V'ger and its Ilia probe used the term carbon unit to describe the humanoid crew of the USS Enterprise. V'ger considered carbon units to be inferior, and not true lifeforms. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)

The internal environment of Gomtuu was suitable for carbon-based lifeforms. (TNG: "Tin Man")

In spite of not being carbon-based, the silicate-based lifeform discovered on L-S VI in 2370 was determined to be vegetative, very much alive, and possibly akin to Odo. (DS9: "The Alternate")

While scanning Suspiria's array for sporocystian lifeforms, the USS Voyager discovered instead the signatures of over two thousand carbon-based lifeforms. (VOY: "Cold Fire")

A species of naturally-occurring photonic lifeforms encountered by Voyager in 2375 were unaware of the existence of biochemical lifeforms. They believed that photonics were living, and that carbon-based lifeforms were artificial. (VOY: "Bride of Chaotica!")

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