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In school they taught and lots of things I've read say that viruses aren't "alive", they're just replicators. But they really don't do anything fundamentally different than any other life. Viruses work by bumping into cells and having their DNA/RNA transferred to the cell where the cell works from it to make viruses. It's basically just genetic code that doesn't make or keep a cell. The cells around work from viruses because they don't care about the difference between either sets of DNA. They're just reacting. Creating viruses or making another cell are both viable ways for DNA continue on.
Should we define life just as we know it? Or should we keep the definition open and only describe the properties of life to accommodate life forms we don't know about? Or is this like trying to keep the definition of the water cycle open to fit other forms of water that we don't know about?
If we designed robots that seek out materials to copy themselves that have to compete with other robots for materials, would it be life? Robotic life? Imitation life? Or just self sustaining robots? I guess history is written by the survivors. Vive la resistance.
I use the phrase "series of reactions" to summarize all biological processes. That might not be ok.
But let's assume that it is ok. Because I don't know it all.
Bear who plays with stick good
Socientize: Cell Images Experiment
Phototropism in Tomatoes - Timelapse
Creatures in my Water!!! - Microscopic Animals from a Local Stream.
I'm not really an animator. If you liked the animation in this video, check out the work of Masanobu Hiraoka (vimeo.com/74114715) and Don Hertzfeldt (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMsyOo...) who's styles were an influence to this vid.
The Wikipedia page. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life
I pulled the rest outta my butt. Because doing proper research, can be a lot of work.