Related topics: cells · protein · bacteria · genes · mutations

Asteroid impact enriches certain elements in seawater

Asteroid strikes upset the environment and provide clues via the elements they leave behind. Now, University of Tsukuba researchers have linked elements that are enriched in the Cretaceous–Paleogene (KPg) boundary clays ...

Newly found bacteria fights climate change, soil pollutants

Cornell researchers have found a new species of soil bacteria—which they named in memory of the Cornell professor who first discovered it—that is particularly adept at breaking down organic matter, including the cancer-causing ...

DNA from ancient packrat nests helps unpack Earth's past

New work shows how using next-generation DNA sequencing on ancient packrat middens—nests made out of plant material, fragments of insects, bones, fecal matter, and urine—could provide ecological snapshots of Earth's past. ...

Eliminating viruses in our food with cranberries and citrus fruit

Fresh produce is a major vehicle for noroviruses, a group of viruses that are the most common cause of gastroenteritis in developed countries. However, the viruses are quite resistant to cold pasteurization treatments such ...

The green chemistry of fullerene

Scientists from the Skoltech Center for Energy Science and Technology (CEST) and the Institute for Problems of Chemical Physics of Russian Academy of Sciences have developed a novel approach for preparing thin semiconductor ...

New space weather advisories serve aviation

A new international advisory system is working to keep aircraft crew and passengers safe from space weather impacts, thanks in part to the efforts of a team of CIRES and NOAA developers, forecasters, and scientists in Boulder, ...

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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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