Related topics: enzyme · cells · protein · amino acids

Investigating cell stress for better health—and better beer

Human beings are not the only ones who suffer from stress—even microorganisms become stressed out. Now, researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have devised a new method to study how single biological ...

Lightning's electromagnetic fields may have protective properties

Lightning was the main electromagnetic presence in the Earth's atmosphere long before the invention of electricity. There are some 2,000 thunderstorms active at any given time, so humans and other organisms have been bathed ...

When a fish becomes fluid

Zebrafish aren't just surrounded by liquid, but turn liquid—in part—during their development. As the zebrafish embryo develops from a ball of cells to a fully-formed fish, a region of the embryo switches its phase from ...

Coral larvae found to prefer a noisy environment

A team of researchers with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has found that coral larvae prefer to set up a new home in a place noisy with other living organisms over a barren soundless site. In their paper published ...

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In biology, an organism is any living system (such as animal, plant, fungus, or micro-organism). In at least some form, all organisms are capable of response to stimuli, reproduction, growth and development, and maintenance of homeostasis as a stable whole. An organism may either be unicellular (single-celled) or be composed of, as in humans, many billions of cells grouped into specialized tissues and organs. The term multicellular (many-celled) describes any organism made up of more than one cell.

The terms "organism" (Greek ὀργανισμός - organismos, from Ancient Greek ὄργανον - organon "organ, instrument, tool") first appeared in the English language in 1701 and took on its current definition by 1834 (Oxford English Dictionary).

Scientific classification in biology considers organisms synonymous with life on Earth. Based on cell type, organisms may be divided into the prokaryotic and eukaryotic groups. The prokaryotes represent two separate domains, the Bacteria and Archaea. Eukaryotic organisms, with a membrane-bounded cell nucleus, also contain organelles, namely mitochondria and (in plants) plastids, generally considered to be derived from endosymbiotic bacteria. Fungi, animals and plants are examples of species that are eukaryotes.

More recently a clade, Neomura, has been proposed, which groups together the Archaea and Eukarya. Neomura is thought to have evolved from Bacteria, more specifically from Actinobacteria.

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