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Characteristics of Life

General overview of what separates living from non-living things. Prepared for an Integrated Science class to introduce the topic to classmates.
by

shannon pond

on 28 February 2012

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Transcript of Characteristics of Life

Characteristics of Life
-Have the ability to manipulate energy and matter.
-Possess 5 characteristics that describe how they do this.
metabolic processes
generative processes
responsive processes
control processes
structural similarities
-Are independent units called organisms
All living things...
Growth is a reaction resulting in an increase in size
during a period of growth an organism adds to its structure, repair parts, and stocks up on nutrients.
Reproduction is a reaction resulting in an increase in population
there are two ways an organism can reproduce:
Sexual reproduction requires two organisms and results in a newly formed organism or
Asexual reproduction is when one organism makes an identical copy of itself.
Generative Processes
(Growth and Reproduction)
Metabolism are the chemical reactions of molecules that cells need for growth, reproduction, and repairs. The way in which each organism metabolizes food varies but generally:
Energy is received through nutrients from food,
Food is processed and chemically brokendown into usable nutrients.
Waste is eliminated.
The energy collected, processed, and/or stored from the nutrients is essential for all other processes to occur.
Metabolic processes
(Energy for survival)
There are 3 responsive processes
irritability-an organism's individual response to stimuli; it is quick such as a reaction to touching something hot.
individual adaptation-an organism's ability to manipulate its current makeup to adapt to something changing within or around the organism such as cells working differently to fight off a disease or an animal's ability to change its fur color to adapt to changing season's colors.
population adaptation-otherwise known as "evolution"; this is a characteristic or trait change displayed by individuals within a group to adapt to something within or around them. This does affect the genetic makeup of an organism, occurs over an extended length of time, and is usually done for survival.
Responsive Processes
(ability to respond/adapt to stimuli/environment)
Ensures that metabolic activities are occurring in the the proper sequence and at the proper rate.
Regulation-is linked to metabolic processes through an Enzyme (molecule) that controls the rate at which chemical reactions and the breakdown of nutrients occur.
Coordination-all chemical reactions are linked together via pathways and proper chronological order of the reactions are essential to ensure nutrients are used or stored in the correct order for survival.
When regulation and coordination work together to maintain a constant internal environment it is the process homeostasis.
Control Processes
(coordination and self regulation)
Tillery, B.W, Enger, E.D, Ross, F.C. (2011). Integrated Science (5th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.
Tillery, B.W, Enger, E.D, Ross, F.C. (2011). Integrated Science (5th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.
Tillery, B.W, Enger, E.D, Ross, F.C. (2011). Integrated Science (5th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.
Tillery, B.W, Enger, E.D, Ross, F.C. (2011). Integrated Science (5th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.
Structural Organization
(cell structure)
All living things are made up of one or more cells.
When more than one cell works together in an organism it is multicellular-
cells group together to form tissues
tissues group together to form organs
organs group together to create working systems within an organism
each cell may have different functions.
One celled organisms are unicellular-
single cells carry out all four of the life processes within itself.
Tillery, B.W, Enger, E.D, Ross, F.C. (2011). Integrated Science (5th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.
-All living things are organisms.
-All organisms are either multicellular, like a human or unicellular, like bacteria.
-All organisms can grow and reproduce.
-All organisms can respond or adapt to stimuli or their environment.
-All organisms need energy to live.
-All organisms have the ability to manipulate their energy for survival.
In a nut shell...
References

Tillery, B.W, Enger, E.D, Ross, F.C. (2011). Integrated Science (5th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

Instructor Web. (2005). Living and Non-living things. Retrieved on 02/26/12 from http://www.thmsadaqagroup.org/livingthingless.pdf.

New Mexico Tech. (n.d.) The 7 Characteristics of Life. Retrieved on 02/26/12 from http://infohost.nmt.edu/~klathrop/7characteristics_of_life.htm.
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