What makes a living thing alive?

Barbara10Broek By Barbara10Broek, 8th Jan 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/w7prfnh3/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Science>Nature

What is the powerful push that stimulates a frog or even a potato but is nonexistent in a stone?

Life Force

Normal living entities breathe, feed convert food to energy, excrete, mature, duplicate, and react to many kinds of stimulus all in their own way. Using this description however an alien from outer space might consider that the main type of life on earth is the auto Automobile do not seem to grow. But they do after a fashion, breathe, feed, convert fuel to energy, excrete, move and respond to the stimulus provided by the driver. And they are well adapted to their environment.

However all concur that machines are not alive. Autos cannot reproduce, they have no way of making copies of themselves, in the way that all plants and animals can. Without human beings to create them they would instantly become extinct.

Where does the boundary between life and non-life really exist? One organism that appears to exist on the very borderline is the virus. Viruses lack the cell nucleus that is the regulator and starting place of reproduction and growth in other more complex living things. To make copies of themselves they depend on other forms of life. They reproduce by invading living cells, taking them over, and using the nucleic acids of their hosts to duplicate. In the end when the new viruses depart to infect new cells they destroy the host cell utterly.

Many parasitic organisms relay on a host body in order to live and reproduce. In the case of viruses, this dependency is total, because, when removed from living tissue they exhibit no signs of life at all. They basically become lifeless molecules arranged in a crystalline pattern. Scientists at Stanford University in California have formed viral substances synthetically by assembling the suitable chemicals in the laboratory. When introduced to living cells the material sprang to life and duplicated itself.

The chemicals themselves were molecules of protein and nucleic acid, the basic ingredients of living things. No one can explain what happens to make these chemicals come to life. The nature and source of the &life force; itself remains a mystery.

Normal living entities breathe, feed convert food to energy, excrete, mature, duplicate, and react to many kinds of stimulus all in their own way. Using this description however an alien from outer space might consider that the main type of life on earth is the auto Automobile do not seem to grow. But they do after a fashion, breathe, feed, convert fuel to energy, excrete, move and respond to the stimulus provided by the driver. And they are well adapted to their environment.

However all concur that machines are not alive. Autos cannot reproduce, they have no way of making copies of themselves, in the way that all plants and animals can. Without human beings to create them they would instantly become extinct.

Where does the boundary between life and non-life really exist? One organism that appears to exist on the very borderline is the virus. Viruses lack the cell nucleus that is the regulator and starting place of reproduction and growth in other more complex living things. To make copies of themselves they depend on other forms of life. They reproduce by invading living cells, taking them over, and using the nucleic acids of their hosts to duplicate. In the end when the new viruses depart to infect new cells they destroy the host cell utterly.

Many parasitic organisms relay on a host body in order to live and reproduce. In the case of viruses, this dependency is total, because, when removed from living tissue they exhibit no signs of life at all. They basically become lifeless molecules arranged in a crystalline pattern. Scientists at Stanford University in California have formed viral substances synthetically by assembling the suitable chemicals in the laboratory. When introduced to living cells the material sprang to life and duplicated itself.

The chemicals themselves were molecules of protein and nucleic acid, the basic ingredients of living things. No one can explain what happens to make these chemicals come to life. The nature and source of the &life force; itself remains a mystery.

Tags

Chemistry, Force, Life, Organisms, Spirit, Stimulates

Meet the author

author avatar Barbara10Broek
Professional Librarian and freelance writer. Home Page: http://barbaratenbroekfreelancewriter.yolasite.com/

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Comments

author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
8th Jan 2011 (#)

those poor rocks didnt have a chance.

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author avatar Barbara10Broek
8th Jan 2011 (#)

LOL!!

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author avatar Jerry Walch
8th Jan 2011 (#)

Oh, Barbara, this wonderfully written article may lead to some heated debate. That sure will be good for your page views :-))

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author avatar Barbara10Broek
8th Jan 2011 (#)

Well I can always ignore the hate mail!

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author avatar Stable
8th Jan 2011 (#)

wow, what an interesting article. One of the best ones I've read on this site so far

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author avatar Barbara10Broek
8th Jan 2011 (#)

Thank you Stable

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author avatar Denise O
9th Jan 2011 (#)

Barbara, I wish I could be a fly on that spaceship. Just imagine. LOL
Great read as always my friend.
Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Lola
15th Jun 2011 (#)

hi

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author avatar Weirdo stalker
24th Nov 2011 (#)

I don't like it. WHAT makes a thing living PLEASE TELL ME. website after goddamn website same ****ing thing!

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author avatar Mykill
24th Feb 2013 (#)

Ha ha. We are 4 bit machines existing in an hologram projected from a 2D surface we perceive as reality according to science. Life is looking in with a trillion eyes.

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