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European eels: One gene pool fits all

European eels spawn in the subtropical Sargasso Sea but spend most of their adult life in a range of fresh- and brackish waters, across Europe and Northern Africa. How eels adapt to such diverse environments has long puzzled ...

Success is all about making social connections—or is it?

There's a common adage that knowing the right people holds the secret to wealth and success. The flip side of that, however, is reminiscent of the country song, "Friends in Low Places": Sometimes social connections can prove ...

New mathematical model: How dangerous bacteria form colonies

It can be observed every time you take a shower: Small droplets of water join together to form larger and larger drops—until they are so heavy that they run down the wall. Scientists call this daily-life phenomenon coalescence—which ...

Pandemic-driven shift to home work carries risks, UN says

The shift to home-working triggered by the coronavirus pandemic looks set to endure long-term, making it vital to protect employees' rights and avoid blurred lines between on-the-clock hours and personal time, the United ...

How the pandemic will shape the workplace trends of 2021

The economist John Maynard Keynes predicted in 1930 that the amount we work would gradually shrink to as little as 15 hours a week as technology made us more productive. Not only did this not happen, but we also began to ...

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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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