Related topics: cells · protein

How cells 'read' artificial ingredients tossed into genetic recipe

If the genome is the recipe of life, base pairs are the individual ingredients listed. These chemical structures form DNA, and every living organism on Earth has just four. The specific arrangements of these four base pairs—A, ...

A molecular switch for organisms adapting to fasts

Getting energy and nutrients from the environment—eating—is such an important function that it has been regulated through sophisticated mechanisms over hundreds of millions of years. Some of these mechanisms are only ...

New 'Swiss Army knife' cleans up water pollution

Phosphate pollution in rivers, lakes and other waterways has reached dangerous levels, causing algae blooms that starve fish and aquatic plants of oxygen. Meanwhile, farmers worldwide are coming to terms with a dwindling ...

New microscopy method reaches deeper into the living brain

Researchers have developed a new technique that allows microscopic fluorescence imaging at four times the depth limit imposed by light diffusion. Fluorescence microscopy is often used to image molecular and cellular details ...

Bacterial DNA can be read either forwards or backwards: study

Bacteria contain symmetry in their DNA signals that enable them to be read either forwards or backwards, according to new findings at the University of Birmingham which challenge existing knowledge about gene transcription.

Healthy plants appear to carry bacteria in their cells

International experts have described for the first time how healthy plants appear to carry bacteria in their cells, opening a new avenue of research to improve future plant health and propagation efforts—including food ...

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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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