Essential Cell Biology, 4th Edition

Published by Garland Science
ISBN 10: 0815344546
ISBN 13: 978-0-81534-454-4

Chapter 1 - Cells: The Fundamental Units of Life - Questions: Question 1-1

Answer

1. Highly organized compared to natural inanimate objects: person - yes; vacuum cleaner - yes; potato - yes 2. Displays homeostasis, maintaining a relatively constant internal environment: person - yes; vacuum cleaner - no; potato - yes 3. Reproduces themselves: person - yes; vacuum cleaner - no; potato - yes 4. Grow and develop from simple beginnings: person - yes; vacuum cleaner - no; potato - yes 5. Take energy and matter from the environment and transform it: person - yes; vacuum cleaner - yes; potato -yes 6. Respond to stimuli: person - yes; vacuum cleaner - yes potato - yes 7. Shows adaptation to their environment person - yes; vacuum cleaner - no; potato - yes

Work Step by Step

The aim for this exercise is to recognize how hard it is to define 'life', therefore, much of the items can be argued either way. 1. Highly organized compared to natural inanimate objects: person - yes vacuum cleaner - yes potato - yes 2. Displays homeostasis, maintaining a relatively constant internal environment: person - yes vacuum cleaner - no potato - yes 3. Reproduces themselves: person - yes: vacuum cleaner - no; potato - yes 4. Grow and develop from simple beginnings: person - yes vacuum cleaner - no potato - yes 5. Take energy and matter from the environment and transform it: person - yes vacuum cleaner - yes potato -yes 6. Respond to stimuli: person - yes; vacuum cleaner - no: except if that stimulus is turning it on potato - yes: a potato would not react in any readily perceivable way to your pestering it. Yet, ethylene released by ripe fruit for example functions as a plant hormone, helping neighboring fruits synchronize their ripening. 7. Shows adaptation to their environment person - yes vacuum cleaner - no potato - yes: if adaption is not taken as a specific potato changing its behavior to better suits its environment; but evolutionary adaption; or we established that potatoes satisfy (6) and respond to stimuli.
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