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What plants need to withstand drought

All life forms have to adapt to the environment in which they live. A warming climate can lead to more frequent drought. This can affect Earth's biological diversity.

What makes cobalt essential to life?

Cobalt sits in the center of the corrin ring of vitamin B12 and the important cobalamins we derive from it. Perhaps surprisingly, only two of our enzymes bother to use these painfully constructed and meticulously channeled ...

Creating sustainable material from waste

It's no secret that we need more sustainable materials if we hope to help the planet. Bio-derived materials are one potential option, but they must be economical if anyone is going to use them.

Increase in marine heat waves threatens coastal habitats

Heat waves—like the one that blistered the Pacific Northwest last June—also occur underwater. A new study in Frontiers in Marine Science paints a worrisome picture of recent and projected trends in marine heat waves ...

Earth BioGenome Project begins genome sequencing in earnest

A global effort to map the genomes of all plants, animals, fungi and other microbial life on Earth, is entering a new phase as it moves from pilot projects to full-scale production sequencing. This new phase of the The Earth ...

The quantum field theory on which the everyday world supervenes

The laws of physics underlying everyday life are, at one level of description, completely known, and can be summarized in a single elegant—if quite complex—equation. That's the claim physicist Sean Carroll, an SFI Fractal ...

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Life

Life on Earth:

Life (cf. biota) is a characteristic that distinguishes objects that have self-sustaining biological processes ("alive," "living"), from those which do not —either because such functions have ceased (death), or else because they lack such functions and are classified as "inanimate."

In biology, the science that studies living organisms, "life" is the condition which distinguishes active organisms from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, functional activity and the continual change preceding death. A diverse array of living organisms (life forms) can be found in the biosphere on Earth, and properties common to these organisms—plants, animals, fungi, protists, archaea, and bacteria — are a carbon- and water-based cellular form with complex organization and heritable genetic information. Living organisms undergo metabolism, maintain homeostasis, possess a capacity to grow, respond to stimuli, reproduce and, through natural selection, adapt to their environment in successive generations. More complex living organisms can communicate through various means.

In philosophy and religion, the conception and nature of life varies, and offer interpretations in the frameworks of existence and consciousness, and touch on many other related issues, such as, ontology, value, life stance, purpose, conceptions of God, the soul and the afterlife.

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