Campbell Biology (10th Edition)

Published by Pearson
ISBN 10: 0321775651
ISBN 13: 978-0-32177-565-8

Chapter 6 - Test Your Understanding - Level 3 - Synthesis/Evaluation: 11

Answer

Life does require a cell at a minimum, since nothing below that level of organization is alive and fully self-replicating. The things associated with life do appear when all of the parts of the cell work together, making that emergent. However, in multicellular organisms, some of the functions played by one cell in unicellular organisms are spread across many cells, even across many tissues and organs, so the level of the emergent property may vary from organism to organism.

Work Step by Step

The key here is review earlier material on emergent properties and the definition of life. Consider the requirements for life and its unit of the cell, then examine life itself as an emergent property of the sum of a cell's components.
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