Life

Cosma Home > Communication > Knowledge > Realm > Terrestrial > Life

Spotlight




Related

Pages

Terrestrial Life, Microorganism, Plant (Flower, Tree), Animal

Resources

These are organized by a classification scheme developed exclusively for Cosma. More…

General

Dictionary

life : an organismic state characterized by capacity for metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli, and reproduction — Webster

OneLook, Free Dictionary, Wiktionary, Urban Dictionary

Encyclopedia

Life is a characteristic distinguishing physical entities having biological processes, such as signaling and self-sustaining processes, from those that do not, either because such functions have ceased, or because they never had such functions and are classified as inanimate. Various forms of life exist, such as plants, animals, fungi, protists, archaea, and bacteria. The criteria can at times be ambiguous and may or may not define viruses, viroids, or potential artificial life as “living”. Biology is the primary science concerned with the study of life, although many other sciences are involved.

The definition of life is controversial. The current definition is that organisms maintain homeostasis, are composed of cells, undergo metabolism, can grow, adapt to their environment, respond to stimuli, and reproduce. However, many other biological definitions have been proposed, and there are some borderline cases of life, such as viruses. Throughout history, there have been many attempts to define what is meant by “life” and many theories on the properties and emergence of living things, such as materialism, the belief that everything is made out of matter and that life is merely a complex form of it; hylomorphism, the belief that all things are a combination of matter and form, and the form of a living thing is its soul; spontaneous generation, the belief that life repeatedly emerges from non-life; and vitalism, a now largely discredited hypothesis that living organisms possess a “life force” or “vital spark”. Modern definitions are more complex, with input from a diversity of scientific disciplines. Biophysicists have proposed many definitions based on chemical systems; there are also some living systems theories, such as the Gaia hypothesis, the idea that the Earth itself is alive. Another theory is that life is the property of ecological systems, and yet another is elaborated in complex systems biology, a branch or subfield of mathematical biology. Abiogenesis describes the natural process of life arising from non-living matter, such as simple organic compounds. Properties common to all organisms include the need for certain core chemical elements to sustain biochemical functions. — Wikipedia

Britannica

Search for Life…

WolframAlpha, DuckDuckGo

Preservation

History

History of Life (ChronoZoom)

Museum

Museum of Life Sciences (Official Site)
Museum of Life Sciences (Wikipedia)

Library

WorldCat, Library of Congress, UPenn Online Books, Open Library

Participation

Education

Course

OER Commons: Open Educational Resources

Community

News

AAAS EurekAlert, NPR Archives

Book

ISBNdb

Government

Document

USA.gov

returntotop

More…


EurekAlert! - Biology The premier online source for science news since 1996. A service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  • Particulate pollution's impact varies greatly...
    on August 17, 2018 at 4:00 am

    (Carnegie Institution for Science) Aerosols are tiny particles that are spewed into the atmosphere by human activities, including burning coal and wood. They have negative effects on air quality -- damaging human health and agricultural productivity. New work from Carnegie's Geeta Persad and Ken Caldeira demonstrates that the impact these fine particles have on the climate varies greatly depending on where they were released. […]

  • Study confirms truth behind 'Darwin's moth'
    on August 17, 2018 at 4:00 am

    (University of Exeter) Scientists have revisited -- and confirmed -- one of the most famous textbook examples of evolution in action. […]

  • Autoimmunity plays role in development of COPD,...
    on August 16, 2018 at 4:00 am

    (Georgia State University) Autoimmunity plays a role in the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a study led by Georgia State University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center that analyzed human genome information stored in Vanderbilt's DNA biobank. […]

  • Taking a closer look at unevenly charged...
    on August 16, 2018 at 4:00 am

    (American Institute of Physics) Clinicians most often monitor antibodies because these small proteins attach to antigens, or foreign substances, we face every day. Most biomolecules, however, have complicated charge characteristics, and the sensor response from conventional carbon nanotube systems can be erratic. A team in Japan recently revealed how these systems work and proposed changes to dramatically improve biomolecule detection. They report their findings in the Journal of Applied […]

  • Retinoic acid may improve immune response against...
    on August 16, 2018 at 4:00 am

    (University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus) University of Colorado Cancer Center clinical trial results describe a promising strategy to remove one of melanoma's most powerful defenses: By adding retinoic acid to standard-of-care treatment, researchers were able to turn off myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) that turn off the immune system, leading to more immune system activity directed at melanoma. […]