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Questions tagged [life]

A process defining organisms that grow and adapt to stimuli while maintaining a state of organization and energy production and being capable of reproduction.

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0answers
103 views

Has anyone 'broken' an organism and then restored it to life?

Has anyone 'broken' an organism, rendering it unable to reproduce, then repaired it and observed it returned to being able to reproduce? An example would be to restore the reproductive capacity to a ...
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1answer
38 views

Did the first cell self-replicate or was it multiple first cells? [closed]

We're almost sure by now that the first cell was born in a some kind of underwater vents environment which harvested all the necessary conditions for it to exist. However, did the first cell self-...
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104 views

Star-like organism seen in microscope

I found this strange star-like thing while observing a slide of onion root somatic cells. I don't know that it is; I even doubt if it is an organism. It has conical arms directed radially outwards ...
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27 views

Why can't a genetically sound human stay alive for an indefinite amount of time given all the ideal conditions? [duplicate]

I have read that even if we can control our food and lifestyle and keep things as ideal as possible, there are other factors beyond our control like effects from neutrinos passing through our body ...
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34 views

Can creatures that can see color in completely different visible spectrum exists?

From wikipedia - "The visible spectrum is the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that is visible to the human eye." So humans can see the light from 400-700 nm and this is because our eyes can ...
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20 views

Could something akin to Cyanobacteria evolve on earth today or are all available niches taken for different kind of life to come to be?

The most basic form of my question would have to be: could new life form from molecules as happened with the first life on earth, here on earth? If not why not?
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1answer
47 views

What is Growth and how can we define it to be a defining property of life?

I was reading a book and it said that internal/intrinsic growth is defining property of life and not extrinsic growth as saying accumulation of dust on a book makes it a bit bigger, even if it is by a ...
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3answers
181 views

Is reverse senescence/“anti-aging” actually scientifically possible among humans yet?

I have been very interested in this since I myself am interested in reversing my skin's aging/genes/damage/etc. I also am interested in volunteering any future genetic altering of skin quality. ...
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1answer
68 views

Is life deterministic in nature? [closed]

I am wondering, according to our current understanding, whether life is completely deterministic. To begin with, consider a single-celled organism, do we have any evidence of any single celled ...
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1answer
25 views

Why are Arabidopsis plant seeds being sent to the moon and not other seeds?

The latest Chang'e-4 rover brings an entire ecosystem with it, including Arabidopsis plant seeds and silkworms. My question is: why Arabidopsis? Is this question conclusive without having to ask ...
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45 views

Light/Heavy Isotopes in Living Organisms

I was wondering, why are lighter isotopes (e.g. carbon-12 as opposed to carbon-13) preferentially used by life on Earth? Is their increased stability the only factor? Thanks in advance!
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1answer
4k views

Why are the cells the smallest unit of life? [closed]

Please Tell me why the cells are called the smallest unit of life. According to me I know that they are called so because they are smallest entity which is alive that is they show the properties of ...
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1answer
73 views

Can something like McDonalds be considered a life form?

"The current definition is that organisms are open systems that maintain homeostasis, are composed of cells, have a life cycle, undergo metabolism, can grow, adapt to their environment, respond to ...
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6answers
520 views

Why are there not two trees of life?

Life on earth started an estimated 3.8 billion years ago, very soon (in geological time) after the earth’s surface cooled to become solid and the first oceans formed. Nowadays, we believe that all ...
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1answer
17k views

Lifeless Lake in Siberia

There is a lake in Siberia called Lake Pustoye. No life exists in the lake. There are no fishes and no plants and even trees around the lake die . No birds even visit this lake .The lake even has ...
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1answer
57 views

How is mankind important to nature? [closed]

Like mosquito eggs are important for fish, what’s our role in balancing the life on earth or its ecosystem. Please suggest if this question doesn't fit in this community. I am a mechanical engineer ...
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1answer
791 views

Why do living things go belly up as they die? [closed]

I have seen birds, lizards, frogs, fish, etc in various places on their back dead. May be insecticides cause them to flip over but I do not believe every upside down creature died by poison as stated ...
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125 views

Why is a cellular structure necessary to satisfy the definition of alive? [duplicate]

I was looking at this image and reading through the Wikipedia page for viruses and it says that to satisfy the definition of "being alive" the organism must have a cellular structure, but it seems to ...
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2answers
59 views

Which life is supported in sterilized 100% pure water? [closed]

As sterilized 100% pure water does not contain any mineral and ion, so which type life can survive in sterilized 100% pure water?
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1answer
115 views

How have single-celled organisms learned to survive?

Upfront: I am a computer science student trying to understand evolution and its implications. I've been pondering the concepts of evolution for some time, especially related to neuroscience / how ...
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0answers
47 views

New evidence about the beginning of life? [closed]

The cover story of the August Scientific American is about new evidence suggesting "volcanic pools" as the location for "first life" as opposed to deep sea smokers like "The Lost City". I was under ...
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0answers
84 views

What would it take to create life? [closed]

Assume we know the right DNA sequence of Mycoplasma Genitalium (MG) and we would like to create Life from scratch. Also assume that matter has been created and we have the knowledge base as today. ...
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0answers
48 views

How many genes are needed for a living organism? [duplicate]

I am interested in this question as I'm doing research into early life on earth which is believed to have been single-celled. Therefore, by extension, it seems only logical that the first life would ...
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1answer
144 views

Synthetic life creation - status of attempts

First I apologize for my incorrect English and for lack of modern knowledge regarding the subject (I studied biology a long time ago). I'm interested to find out: if there were successful attempts ...
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3answers
134 views

Why has life evolved around oxygen? [closed]

Why has life evolved around oxygen? Many lifeforms require oxygen to breakdown bio-molecules and release energy. I think there are two possibilities: Reactions with oxygen tend to release more energy,...
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38 views

Female mosquito fate in absence of food

What happens to female mosquitoes which want to lay egg but couldn't find mammal host for blood, will that mosquito simply die, if no mammals in area would mosquitoes will be absent too?
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2answers
538 views

What is the philosophical definition of life? [closed]

How does philosophy define life? And how does it overlap and contrast with the concepts and nuances of other sciences such as biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics?
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3answers
264 views

Is designing alien life still just science fiction?

As we continue to search for life in very different environments than the earth, it would make sense to me to think about and design lifeforms (theoretical) that could work in these environments. I ...
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2answers
158 views

Do we know the physical-nature of “senses” or qualia? [closed]

We have a peculiar property/ phenomenon called having 'sense' or qualia, also sometimes called as consciousness. Such as, if we see a red flower; we perceive a particular colour, "red". That is an ...
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4answers
2k views

Why don't we see life form again and over again?

If life formed on earth by natural laws, why can't we observe the formation of life from matter today? Is it because this is a rare phenomenon? It seems just after formation of earth life formed on ...
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2answers
1k views

Single celled organism and immortality

My biology book says: No individual is immortal,except single celled organisms.. I think that such conclusion aries from the necessity of binary division in many single celled organism to ...
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2answers
9k views

Are all cells organisms?

As the title says, are all cells organisms? Why or why not? As I understand, not every cell is an organism because some of them -those which aren't organism- require the rest of the organism to live. ...
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5answers
9k views

How did the cardiovascular system evolve?

How has evolution created our blood, lungs and the heart? We can't exist without blood, which transports the oxygen to all areas of our body. However, the blood needs a lung, which gives it the ...
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1answer
234 views

How did life survive in the Snowball Earth theory?

There is this theory that says that the whole Earth was once covered with snow and ice. How was it possible for life to survive this extreme state?
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1answer
104 views

In Darwinian evolutionary theory, does the environment has any role? [closed]

In Darwinian evolutionary theory, does the environment has any role? To state it clearly: Suppose I have an isolated system. First, I place several types of entities (organisms) in an environment. ...
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1answer
2k views

Which biological kingdom comprises the greatest biomass on Earth?

Which of the five biological kingdoms - animalia, protista, plantera, monera, or fungi - has the largest biomass? To clarify, if the biomass of every species in each of these kingdoms was added up, ...
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1answer
990 views

What are the characteristics of a living organism? [closed]

It seemed fairly basic at first, and yet I have to ask because even a quick Google search reveals that it doesn't seem to be quite so straight-forward anymore. After more research, I found multiple ...
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1answer
957 views

Did the Great Oxygenation Event also cause a mass extinction?

It's usually assumed that the Great Oxidation Event around 2.3 billion years ago caused a great extinction of anaerobic life on earth. However, I was reading Nick Lane's book, The Vital Question, and ...
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2answers
959 views

Which are the last cells of the human body to die?

When somebody dies, which are the last surviving cells of his/her body? Those of hair, nails, or some other obscure but resilient cells? Shedding light on why and how they are so vital might boost ...
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1answer
155 views

Have there been any studies on 'surf balls'? (not related to surfing)

I know the title sounds like something else, but I'm actually wondering about these things, which are also apparently called 'whale burps': This one was found on a beach on Lake Michigan. Does ...
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1answer
122 views

First life forms to evolve controlled flight

What was the first living organism able to fly in the skies and control their direction , not just Aeroplankton like bacteria and viruses carried by the winds but something like an winged insect or ...
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3answers
287 views

Are seedless fruits considered life? [closed]

From school, I remember that for something to be considered life, it must be able to reproduce. With the creation of seedless fruits (such as watermelon), would this be considered life as they don't ...
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1answer
24 views

Atmospheric gas changes, and their effects life

I was curious how life on Earth, or an Earth-like planet, would be effected by changes in the gases which make up our atmosphere. Assuming there is a similar level of oxygen in an atmosphere, could ...
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1answer
106 views

Could a single cell be brought to life?

If a scientist is observing a single cell under a microscope, and then realizes that the cell has died, is it possible to bring that dead cell back to life? For my inquiry, let's assume that the ...
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0answers
41 views

What are the tests performed by NASA's Mars rovers to establish that life could survive on the planet?

I am particularly interested in the Mars Rovers, which are out there trying to find life. Do they believe that the tests they perform are sufficient to verify the existence of life (Also please ...
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1answer
88 views

Is there any definition of life which makes viruses undeterminable?

There are many different definitions of life (RNA, something that comes through evolution) but not one I have seen which could not determine wheter viruses are living things (even though there are ...
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1answer
84 views

Does the new virus tree of life change their position between living and non-living things?

Viruses still do not fit the criteria of living or it's simplest form (the living cell), why would some say that the new virus tree of life makes it more closer to life? Aren't mitochondria in a point ...
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1answer
3k views

How can frogs tolerate freezing while humans cannot?

A wood frog can tolerate the freezing of their blood and other tissues. (wiki, news2), but human beings can not. Some people plan to freeze their bodies/brains after death, and some of them have done ...
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69 views

What is the reasoning behind the Drake Equation?

I've read a bunch on how the Drake Equation is constructed, but I'm not able to understand some of the reasoning behind it. $$ N = R_* \cdot f_p \cdot n_e \cdot f_l \cdot f_i \cdot f_c \cdot L \cdot ...
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1answer
204 views

Biologically, does life and death matter? [closed]

(Sorry that I'm on mobile, so I can't make a good formated question (no links). I will add them later. Just can't resist the urge to ask) In the recent hot question about whether mitochondrial is ...