to be or not to be alive

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To distinguish what is living from what is not, scientists have defined several criteria. Select two of these criteria that could be applied to a living thing and also to a nonliving thing.

  • What is your conclusion?
  • Which criteria of life are you looking forward to studying?
  • Why are they relevant to you in your personal or professional life?
  • Next you will conduct an experiment: Ask three people around you (family or friends) to explain why a dog is a living thing and why a donut is not.
  • Did you receive different responses from each of them?
  • Were you surprised by their answers?
  • Explain what you have learned from this experiment.

Are viruses living things? This question still divides the scientific community. Most virologists consider viruses to be nonliving because they rely on a host (a cell) to reproduce. More recently, the discovery of giant viruses, called pandoraviruses, made some scientists consider adding a fourth domain of life to the phylogenic tree introduced by microbiologist Carl Woese. Refer to the following article for more information: Biggest Virus Yet Found, May Be Fourth Domain of Life?

What does this particular example with viruses tell us about life and its study?

Your completed journal assignment should be 350 to 450 words in length. For additional details, please refer to the Journal Guidelines and Rubric document.

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