How Do We Define Life?
In the wake of controversy over the possible discovery of arsenic-eating life last week a basic question perhaps deserves revisiting: Just what, exactly, is life?
Researcher Christopher Voigt of the University of California, San Francisco, who works on synthetic biology, said: "We don't have a very good definition of life. It's a very abstract thing, what we call life, and at what point we say something doesn't have the necessary components versus it does, it just becomes way too murky." The question of what constitutes life has dogged scientists since the early days. Aristotle was the first to attempt to define life, and his proposal boils down to life being something that grows and maintains itself (he called this "nutrition"), and reproduces.
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
This economy has us in survival mode, stressing out our bodies and minds.
- Economic hardship is linked to physical and psychological illness, resulting in added healthcare expenses people can't afford.
- The gig economy – think Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit, Handy – is marketed as a 'be your own boss' revolution, but it can be dehumanizing and dangerous; every worker is disposable.
- The cooperative business model can help reverse wealth inequality.
Meanwhile, Spaniards are the least likely to say their culture is superior to others.
- Survey by Pew Research Center shows great variation in chauvinism across Europe.
- Eight most chauvinist countries are in the east, and include Russia.
- British much more likely than French (and slightly more likely than Germans) to say their culture is "superior" to others.
A new study explores how certain personality traits affect individuals' attitudes on obesity in others.
- The study compared personality traits and obesity views among more than 3,000 mothers.
- The results showed that the personality traits neuroticism and extraversion are linked to more negative views and behaviors related to obesity.
- People who scored high in conscientiousness are more likely to experience "fat phobia.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.