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Exception to Characteristics of Life.

Debate and discussion of any biological questions not pertaining to a particular topic.

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Postby Poison » Sun Mar 06, 2005 5:52 pm

Dr.Doom wrote:Viruses do have genetic material (ssRNA, ssDNA ...etc). Prions are proteins; they do multiple through protein-protein. All other animate objects have genetic material (yes even fungus); therefore, the cloest thing may be a prion, but i don't know if you can consider that as an animate object.


I guess we can't. :)
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Postby Wilmer » Mon Mar 07, 2005 8:27 pm

Of course virus is alive.
They reproduce because they are automated to do so, but so are animals (such as humans) and animals are considered alive.

They have no choice but to invade cells and so on but our will is just as limited as theirs (just that our will can handle more complex situations).

And for the riddle: Bee hives are made of cells and they grow. And they kind of reproduce (new hives are built).
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Postby biostudent84 » Mon Mar 07, 2005 8:35 pm

Wilmer wrote:Of course virus is alive.
They reproduce because they are automated to do so, but so are animals (such as humans) and animals are considered alive.

They have no choice but to invade cells and so on but our will is just as limited as theirs (just that our will can handle more complex situations).


There's more to the definition of life than reproduction =)

Viruses are not made of cells, they do not arise from cells of the same species as themselves, and they do not enact the process of respiration.

Whether or not a virus is a living being is still under debate by the biology community. No official verdict has been accepted yet =)
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Postby Wilmer » Mon Mar 07, 2005 9:02 pm

I think that "has to be made of cells" is a silly concept for life. :P
The first living organism probably wasn't a cell (even thought all cells are it's children).
It is not likely that membranes and all the proteins nessecary just popped up from nowhere. The first strain of DNA or RNA or whatever can't have been complex.

The first thing to live was the first thing that started to copy itself. Those who started feeding before copying and protecting their DNA (or RNA or whatever) with membranes were less likely to be broken by radiaton.

This is just what I think. Don't listen to me if you are writing something for school.
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Postby biologyistehcool » Mon Mar 07, 2005 10:40 pm

Wilmer wrote:I think that "has to be made of cells" is a silly concept for life. :P
.
me too lol :D
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Postby James » Mon Mar 07, 2005 11:24 pm

Our classifictions of life are dominated from the majority of 'living' organisms we have so far observed. If we classed life as being made of cells, or those that do our 'life processes' etc, then if we met aliens, perhaps not carbon based, which were not made of cells or did our 'life processes', then we wouldn't class them as alive, even if they were free moving and even intelligent organisms. Our classifictions should not be rigid, I'm sure that if we came across intelligent organisms on a far planet, despite not doing all of our life processes, we would say they were alive. So why don't we classes viruses as alive?
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Postby Poison » Tue Mar 08, 2005 4:10 pm

We discussed wheather viruses are alive or not. I think you can hava a look at them.

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Postby MrMistery » Tue Mar 08, 2005 8:27 pm

The aliens we would meet will deffinetly have their own methabolism. Viruses do not. That is a major point in why they are not considered alive(by the way, I also consider viruses alive, just less alive than other things)
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Postby Wilmer » Wed Mar 09, 2005 12:33 pm

Atleast ONE of the aliens on another planet would have to eat and grow. All the other aliens could live like viruses.
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Postby biostudent84 » Wed Mar 09, 2005 1:06 pm

Wilmer wrote:I think that "has to be made of cells" is a silly concept for life. :P
The first living organism probably wasn't a cell (even thought all cells are it's children).
It is not likely that membranes and all the proteins nessecary just popped up from nowhere. The first strain of DNA or RNA or whatever can't have been complex.


Read the research journals, textbooks and articles published by biologists. Whether or not you think it is "silly" is not a major concern to the Virologists and Taxonomists that are being paid big bucks to determine whether or not viruses are alive. When those researchers senior to us are completely certain whether or not they live, they will let us know.
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