Posted: April 11th, 2017

Briefly describe each of the nine properties and discuss how things like a virus, prion, and Virol can reproduce, but are not considered to be alive.

Briefly describe each of the nine properties and discuss how things like a virus, prion, and viroid canreproduce, but are not considered to be alive. Address the question: how can things like these that are notconsidered to be alive “evolve”?In order for something to be considered alive, part of its behaviors, life history and/or traits should fulfill each ofthe nine properties of life. The first property of life is order, or the ability of an organism to function and maintainhomeostasis. Eventually this means an organism can regulate itself biologically so that it is not subjecting itself tophysical entropy.The second property of life is metabolism. Metabolism and order go hand in hand. Organisms must obtain and/orcreate energy and be able to convert it into a usable form that helps with bodily processes and regulating homeostasis.Without sound metabolic function, organisms would not be able to thrive and their bodily functions would not bepredictable. The third property of life is motility. Motility is the ability of an organism to spread and/or move. This comes inmany forms, from an animal literally walking, to plants shifting towards the sunlight, to trees seed dispersal, to parasitesusing hosts/vectors to move. The fourth property of life is responsiveness. Responsiveness is the concept that an organism should be able toreact to a stimulus. This means that an organism has the ability to sense its surroundings. Organisms have a diversity ofresponses to various physical and chemical cues found in their environment. The fifth property of life is reproduction. Reproduction is the process in which the organism has offspring andproduces progeny with shared genetic information. Reproduction and fitness are closely linked. The sixth property of life is development. Development is related to the ability of an organism to grow andchange ontogenetically. Hence organisms in their natal form may look and/or act very different than their sexuallymature form. The seventh property of life is hereditary. Hereditary is the ability of an organism to gain traits from their parentsand to be able to give their traits to offspring. Hereditary is closely linked to reproduction and evolution. Therefore, the eighth property of life is evolution. Evolution is the ability of a species to transform over time tobecome more fit and better suited to its environment. It does this through genetic changes, which often relate toadaptations. Adaptations are the ninth property of life, and allow organism to change and respond to their environment, sothat they can be best suited to a changing habitat, ecosystem, and relationships with other organisms (Reece 2011).While some of these properties do relate to viruses, prions, and viroid’s (such as reproduction), we do not consider themalive. The reason we do not consider them alive is because they are actually passive and not responsive. They need to encounter (not actively locate) a cell and then their existence is essentially at the will of the cell.Viruses, prions, and viroid’s are not considered alive, yet we do consider them to evolve. They change depending on thecells they invade and exploit and this occurs rapidly. So, their evolution is not due to themselves changing, but rathertheir hosts altered respond

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