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From LiveScience: What is the oldest continuous living thing in the world?


As Stephanie Pappas writes, it’s much more complex than we might think:

In 2013, researchers from the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program reported at the annual Goldschmidt Conference in Italy that they’d found microbes in 100-million-year-old sediments in the floor of the deep sea, according to the BBC. The microbes were reproducing once every 10,000 years, such a slow rate that scientists weren’t sure if they could really call the microbes “alive.” More.

<em>Teapot</em> Cobalt Blue But surely that is a technicality. If they reproduced at all, they are alive. The issues she raises around very old organisms that have remained extant through cloning may be more meaty.

We are getting somewhere if we can determine that something is definitely alive without necessarily coming up with a hard definition. Now here’s one: Are viruses alive?

See also: Another stab at whether viruses are alive

Phil Sci journal: Special section on understanding viruses

Why “evolution” is changing? Consider viruses

The Scientist asks, Should giant viruses be the fourth domain of life? Eukaryotes, prokaryotes, archaea… and viruses?

Viruses are alive.


Are viruses nature’s perfect machine? Or alive?

Water Bears have a decent streak going. ppolish
To determine whether something is alive, the definition of what life is is needed; the definition that majority would agree upon. Until then... J-Mac

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