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What does it mean to be alive?

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Gianluca Mori

on 11 September 2014

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Transcript of What does it mean to be alive?

What "characteristics " do living things share?
Since there is no exact definition of what it means to be alive. Most scientists narrow it down to 6 characteristics. These characteristics are in all living organisms, but many non-living things share some of these characteristics which the definition of "life" debatable.
What does it mean to be alive?
There are
many definitions
of what it means to be alive, and scientists cannot agree on just one definition.
How do we know if something is alive?
Most things are easy to detect as either living or non-living,but all living things must be made up of one or more cells.
The 6 common characteristics
of living organisms:
1) Consist of Cells- only living organisms have this characteristic
2) Growth and development
3) Homeostasis
4) Respond to their environment
5) Reproduce
6) Order- levels of organization

“Characteristics of Living Things.” Science Learning. U of Waikato, 12 June 2012. Web. 10 Sept. 2014. <http://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/Science-Stories/Earthworms/Characteristics-of-living-things>.

Jabr, Ferris. “Why Life Does Not Really Exist.” Scientific American. Scientific American, 2 Dec. 2013. Web. 10 Sept. 2014. <http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/brainwaves/2013/12/02/why-life-does-not-really-exist/>.

In the end
Even though they do not define life, these 6 characteristics give us a better understanding on what life IS. The understanding of "life" is one of the biggest mysteries. Having a better understanding of it will help our progress in discovering how life started and if it exists on other planets.
What does it mean to be alive?
By Gianluca Mori
Full transcript