Related topics: cells · protein

Learning chemical networks give life a chiral twist

When holding a right hand in front of a mirror, one can see a reflected image of a left hand and vice versa. In 1848, Louis Pasteur discovered that organic molecules are much like our hands: they come in mirror-image pairs ...

In soil, death doesn't stop the spread of antibiotic resistance

Dead bacteria can still make their presence felt in the land of the living. New research led by Michigan State University integrative biologists is showing that this could have big implications for antibiotic resistance on ...

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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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