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How Do You Decide What Is Alive in Biology


M. Binder

The term organism is used to describe something that is deemed to be alive. Organisms have specific qualities that scientists and students look for when classifying things as either alive or non-living. The four characteristics that are used to define something as alive are the ability to react to stimuli, the ability to reproduce, the ability to grow and develop and the presence of homeostasis.

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Reactions to Stimuli One of the most obvious signs that something is alive in biology is that it reacts to stimuli. Stimuli can be anything from a light source to a physical probe. For example, if you poke your friend in the arm with your finger they will respond by giving you a dirty look or moving away from you. Smaller life forms also respond to stimuli be movement or other physical responses. Sometimes these responses are visible, however, this is not always the case. Responses can also be chemical or very subtle. An inorganic, or a non-living object, is not going to react to stimuli in the same ways that an organic thing would. For example, if you shine a light on a rock the rock will not move to get out of the way. It is important for students to understand the difference between a reaction to a stimuli and an inorganic reaction to force or heat. For example, a candle that is exposed to heat will change its form as the wax melts. This is not a reaction to stimuli but rather a physical manipulation by the force or energy source. Reproduction Reproduction is another characteristic of something that is alive. Reproduction is the replication of an organism. Organic reproduction can be sexual or asexual. In-organic processes that break apart a larger object into many smaller objects is not reproduction. Nothing new has been created. The original object has just been eroded or broken. Growth and Development Things that are alive will grow and develop throughout their life cycle. In humans growth and development starts with the fertilization of an egg. The fertilized egg grows and develops into a baby, that once born develops into a toddler, a child, a teen and then an adult. Things that are inorganic do not grow or develop. Their forms may be altered, but this alteration of form is caused by external forces and not internal forces. This is what makes inorganic objects different than organic objects. Homeostasis The final characteristic of a living thing in biology is the presence of homeostasis. Homeostasis is the condition of being a stable system. The living things has internal control systems that keeps the overall organism stable and in one form. This is very different from inorganic objects that are evolved constantly in response to outside forces like erosion, heat and pressure. Conclusion There are four things that science students need to look for to determine if something is alive. These things are the ability to react to stimuli, the ability to reproduce, the ability to grow and develop and the presence of homeostasis. While there are inorganic processes that are similar to these organic characteristics the big difference is that inorganic objects are influenced by external forces and processes while living things are rules by internal processes and forces.

As an education specialist I have tried for years to produce materials that help kids to explore and enjoy science.

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How Do You Decide What Is Alive in Biology

By Joe Palladino

“Engagement rings.” Engagement rings offer up a real learning experience for the groom. Getting the best engagement ring for your bride can be one of the most stressful experiences for any man. Engagement rings play such a huge role in altering a relationship, and it is the sentiment behind the ring that often really matters, but still most grooms want to get the perfect ring they know their wife will like.

In many cases, if a man is wise, he will have listened to his future wife’s suggestions and hints. Women don’t like to admit it, but in a relationship, they undoubtedly, at some point, have found themselves in a wedding ring store looking at different styles. For the man, making a mental note here is key.

Then seeking out a quality engagement ring within the man’s budget becomes the ultimate quest. Engagement rings with diamonds become a quick education for the groom. There is a rating system for diamonds, and in most cases, if quality is a consideration, and it usually is, it is wise to not go below a certain rating point, or the diamond will look cloudy.

In other cases, matching the diamond cut styling to the wedding band is also an issue. It is recommended to start doing some research on line about engagement rings to learn of the different styles of cuts and different styles of engagement bands.

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It is especially important to consider the diamond’s cut when looking at engagement rings. An engagement ring’s diamond should have been cut with purpose because a cut is also the way the diamond lets light into it. Some diamonds, simply by the way in which they were taken when they were mined, must be cut a certain way to let the most light through it. This will allow for the best sparkle and shine.

After purchasing an engagement ring, then the search for the perfect wedding ring or band is the next move. Some couples choose and interlocking or matching set. Or some have either of the two styles custom made. Either way, it is the engagement ring that is the ultimate symbol of love and commitment, and the first big initiation of a relationship moving to a higher level.

While online research is a good way to start learning about buying engagement rings, it is also good advice to visit several jewelry stores. In most cases, the salesman or sales woman can offer up their knowledge of how to look at diamonds and know if it is a good cut or rating on it. Most diamonds for engagement rings should come with certificates that verify by a third party their rating. If a diamond does not, steer clear of it.

When it comes to shopping for an engagement ring for that special someone, it is important to not feel pressured into a sale. Buy the one that feels right for you and your soon-to-be spouse, not the one that the salesperson may be pushing on you. If you feel pressured by the situation, you should probably leave.

About the Author: Joe owns an online wedding store offering wonderful

wedding gifts

such as

wedding favors


bridal shower favors

to assist you in your wedding planning needs.


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