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If we have difficulty defining ‘life’ on earth, how will we identify it on other planets?

What does it mean to be alive? Science, shockingly, still doesn’t have a consensus. For example, is it fair to ...
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Artificial life forms—’with no mother or father’—could change the way we develop vaccines

Every living creature on Earth has parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and so on—representing an unbroken line of ancestry all the way ...
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Defining life: Why we need to identify the boundary between living things and AI robots

They’re advancing artificial intelligence (AI) to create next-gen personalized robots that can read human emotions in real time. What will ...
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Life on Earth is carbon-based. But that doesn’t mean other planets have to use the same building block.

All life on Earth, and thus, all life we've ever observed in the universe, shares a few basic characteristics. Its ...
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‘Second genesis’: Assessing the evidence for life on Mars

Today, the burning question isn’t whether Mars might once have been habitable – at various times in its distant past, ...
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How long can bacteria live? 500-year experiment could provide answers

In the year 2514, some future scientist will arrive at the University of Edinburgh (assuming the university still exists), open ...

Defining life: If it’s created in a lab, is it really alive?

Describing life is difficult and evasive. Will we fully understand life if we can create it through synthetic biology? ...
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In the search for aliens, we need ‘a robust definition’ of life

Even though we still struggle with finding a satisfactory definition of life, that doesn’t mean that we can’t think about ways that ...

Video: Inside the quest to truly understand the living cell

“I would be happy to have a rudimentary understanding of a single cell.” That doesn’t sound like a shocking statement, ...

When does life begin? Here are 17 points in time to consider

The US Department of Health and Human Services has taken the official position that life begins at conception. Here's a ...
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Reflections on Craig Venter’s synbio creation: Life, from scratch

A high profile team creates a bacteria by building its genome block by block, but what's the point? ...
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