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Is There A Living Thing With NO CELLS?

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

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Postby SgtSlaughter » Wed Jan 30, 2008 5:34 pm

@MrMistery thanks for that Mimivirus idea that just might work. I will tell you after I hear his response.
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Postby SgtSlaughter » Fri Feb 15, 2008 7:20 pm

well the mimivirus was a fail for a few defects in it ways of life
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Postby EmmVeePee » Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:32 pm

Cell Theory states all living organisms are made from cells, if I remember correctly.
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Postby genovese » Tue Feb 26, 2008 3:31 pm

To give you a chance of acquiring an A, your teacher could have asked you to name a functioning cell that was not alive.
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Postby MrMistery » Sat Mar 01, 2008 7:49 pm

what would be a correct answer to that? Plant cells that die, like those in cork? Botanists still call them cells, but if you ask me, they are simply leftover walls. Or maybe a RBC or a sieve tube element? If you ask me they are still alive... I don't think your question has an answer either
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Postby genovese » Sat Mar 01, 2008 8:05 pm

Yes, I had a RBC in mind which is without genetic material. Why do you say that a RBC is alive?
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Postby MrMistery » Mon Mar 03, 2008 1:26 pm

cause it has metabolism and protein synthesis. Very low ones, but still. And it has an electrically charged membrane. It is alive because it has to be destroyed in 3 months, as it cannot live for long without a nucleus, even at that metabolism.
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Postby genovese » Mon Mar 03, 2008 2:45 pm

I thought genetic material was a prerequisite for life.

Is there RNA floating around in the RBCs or is the low metabolism being carried out using old enzymes which are taking a bit of time(3months) to be used up?

When a person dies, the hair and nails continue to grow for some time due to some slow metabolism going on but the body taken as a whole is still considered to be dead is it not?
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Postby MrMistery » Mon Mar 03, 2008 5:10 pm

Genetic material is a prerequisite of life, but a cell can nevertheless be alive without genetic material. Take the case of a sieve tube element if you don't like RBC: the adjacent cell gives it all the proteins needed to survive for a long time and carry out all the functions it needs, although it looses some organelles. If that isn't ultraspecialised life, i don't know what is.

The way I found it in all books is that the RBC does have a low rate of protein synthesis and a low rate of energetic metabolism. Plus, as I said, I regard as indubitable proof of its vitality the fact that its membrane is polarized, something completely absent in dead cells.

BTW, is that nail stuff true? I always thought it was some sort of urban mith.
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Postby canalon » Mon Mar 03, 2008 9:15 pm

Patrick

Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without
any proof. (Ashley Montague)
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Postby genovese » Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:10 am

After so many years of believing in rubbish I am pleased to have been corrected on the hair and nail stuff.

On the issue of RBCs, I am still not clear where the RBC gets its enzymes from to carry out metabolism. Your sieve tube element (I will have to look this one up) sounds like a person being kept alive on a ventilator and being fed artificially. Turn the ventilator off and you see that they were dead all the time. Can that really be called life?
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Postby MrMistery » Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:25 am

about the nails, i think we came to a similar conclusion a while back.

About the RBC and sieve tube element, I guess I said all I have to say. If you don't consider them alive, then we'll agree to disagree.
BTW, could platelets do as a dead functioning cell? Cause they are not cells, but they are dead and functioning..
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