Related topics: enzyme · cells · protein · amino acids

Scientists Explain Why Computers Crash But We Don't

( -- Nature and software engineers face similar design challenges in creating control systems. The different solutions they employ help explain why living organisms tend to malfunction less than computers, a Yale ...

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 ...

Hydrocarbons in the deep Earth?

The oil and gas that fuels our homes and cars started out as living organisms that died, were compressed, and heated under heavy layers of sediments in the Earth's crust. Scientists have debated for years whether some of ...

NASA scientist finds 'alien life' fossils

A NASA scientist's claim that he found tiny fossils of alien life in the remnants of a meteorite has stirred both excitement and skepticism, and is being closely reviewed by 100 experts.

Hong Kong researchers store data in bacteria

The US' national archives occupy more than 500 miles (800 kilometres) of shelving; France's archives stretch for more than 100 miles of shelves, as do Britain's.

Synthetic biology moves into the realm of the unnatural

The field of synthetic biology has had great success engineering yeast and bacteria to make chemicals—biofuels, pharmaceuticals, fragrances, even the hoppy flavors of beer—cheaply and more sustainably, with only sugar ...

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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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