Talk:Life

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Former good article nominee Life was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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Cladistics[edit]

Please explain more about cladistics in the Life#Classification. It is worth more than a sentence. Hanif Al Husaini (talk) 15:00, 14 January 2017 (UTC)

Why not just follow the link? Graham Beards (talk) 15:24, 14 January 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 13 February 2017[edit]

However, one simple definition of life is, “To actively and independently maintain a defined gradient with the external environment”. Sophomoric life (talk) 21:30, 13 February 2017 (UTC)

I request the addition of the following sentence to be included below the line, "These complex processes, called physiological functions, have underlying physical and chemical bases, as well as signaling and control mechanisms that are essential to maintaining life". I am currently defending my PhD at the University of Minnesota. I have ran this definition of life passed professors in many different fields of Biology. I have received no negative feedback of this not being a suitable definition of life. I am requesting its inclusion on Wiki with the hopes that it will be debated by a wider audience.

Thanks.

I am sorry but this cannot be added without reference to a reliable published source. Graham Beards (talk) 22:07, 13 February 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 18 February 2017[edit]

See Also:

Irrefutable Truths of Life Javier Moreno18 (talk) 14:07, 18 February 2017 (UTC)

Not done for now: The article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedia's deletion policy. DRAGON BOOSTER 16:40, 18 February 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 22 February 2017[edit]

Please change this line "This is partially because life is a process, not a substance." to "The existence of organism is called life." because life is not a process. suppose, you say to your friend that you have average 20 years of life left. Here, life doesn't mean a process it means that you have 20 years left to exist as an organism.Another example "my childhood life is good." here this line means that my existence as a child is really good.So , life is not process.The existence of your's as a living organism is what we called a life.Death means that you don't exist while life means your existence. M.crysnob (talk) 03:28, 22 February 2017 (UTC)

The question here is: do the references support the text? Further : what references do you have to support your proposed changes? Vsmith (talk) 03:49, 22 February 2017 (UTC)

Biota[edit]

I consulted four dictionaries, and all four agree and define "biota; the plants and animals living in a region". (emphasis mine) This article is certainly about the whole Earth and not about a region. Therefore I have removed "biota" from the infobox. Nick Beeson (talk) 14:21, 23 February 2017 (UTC)

  • Websters New International Dictionary, C & G Merriam Co. Springfield, 1934
  • Cambridge Dictionary of Science and Technology, Peter Walker ed., Cambridge University Press, New York, 1988
  • Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Stuart Flexner ed., 2nd edition, Random House, New York, 1998
  • Webster's Online Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Co., http://www.m-w.com

External links modified[edit]

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External links modified[edit]

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DNA to living organism[edit]

The Human Genome Project's human genome is the "standard" human DNA sequence. To test out gene therapies, it would make sense to test out these therapies on this "standardized" human DNA sequence (rather than say on the DNA of some volunteers -as these volunteers all have slight differences in their DNA-). Testing it out on volunteers (which have different DNA's) is problematic, as there is always the chance on interactions with genes which some people (test subjects) may have, but most other people don't. Comparing the different gene therapies (to determine which one is best) will also be erratic.

So hypothetically speaking, a test subject that has a "standard" human DNA sequence (Human Genome Project DNA) would be preferable . However, could we actually create a human with a complete, known, string of DNA (i.e. in the form of a vial of blood) ? This is all but a thought experiment obviously since it would be unethical to use humans as test subjects. However, we might be able to make a Laboratory mouse from DNA, which could serve the same purpose (standardised mouse made from blood vial). KVDP (talk) 16:25, 18 June 2017 (UTC)

Please see WP:NOT. We are an encyclopaedia, not a forum. Graham Beards (talk) 19:22, 18 June 2017 (UTC)

The First Sentence.[edit]

At the time of this post, the first sentence of the article reads,

 "Life is a characteristic distinguishing physical entities having biological processes, such as signaling and self-sustaining processes, from those that do not"...

Proposal:

  "Life is the Phenomenon that certain characteristics distinguish physical entities having biological processes, such as signaling and self-sustaining processes, from those that do not"...

I think the above proposal ^ would be more clear, and still be agreeable with the varying definitions of life.

-Popcrate (talk) 07:04, 21 September 2017 (UTC)

Sorry, your suggestion is not grammatically correct and does not make sense. Graham Beards (talk) 09:15, 21 September 2017 (UTC)

Clarity may be needed[edit]

To Graham Beards: (et al.) perhaps the following would be clearer and stronger:

Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities that do have biological processes, such as signaling and self-sustaining processes, from those that do not, ...

This strengthens "distinguishing", a weak -ing verb form, to the stronger "distinguishes". Also the "having" in the first part is less synchronous with the "those that do not" (have biological processes). If we edit that to entities "that do have" biological processes, it will go better with "those that do not."

I did start to just change the lead sentence as usual, but then I saw the invisible comment about discussing it first. Here we are, happy and healthy I hope!  Paine Ellsworth  put'r there  14:01, 29 September 2017 (UTC)

Yes, I think you suggestion is an improvement, thanks. Graham Beards (talk) 14:12, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
Thank you very much! We can wait a bit to see if anyone else would like to give an opinion. Thanks again!  Paine Ellsworth  put'r there  14:19, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
Looks OK, but must change the link from Signalling theory to Cell signaling. --Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 15:27, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
Done and thank you all very much!  Paine Ellsworth  put'r there  14:00, 30 September 2017 (UTC)

Death (again)[edit]

The section on death says (unsourced): "However, determining when death has occurred requires drawing precise conceptual boundaries between life and death." Isn't the problem, particularly in case of more complex life forms, that vital functions mentioned in the first sentence breaks down at different rates in different organ systems and regions of the organisms body? I suggest the last section should read (change emphasized):

 One of the challenges in defining death is in distinguishing it from life. Death would seem to refer to either the moment life ends, or when the state that follows life begins.[204] However, determining when death has occurred is difficult, as cessation of life functions is often not simultaneous across organ systems, requiring drawing conceptual lines between life and death. This is problematic, however, because there is little consensus over how to define life. The nature of death has for millennia been a central concern of the world's religious traditions and of philosophical inquiry. Many religions maintain faith in either a kind of afterlife or reincarnation for the soul, or resurrection of the body at a later date.

Here's a National Geographic article that is relevant as a source not only to my point, but to this section as a whole: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2016/04/dying-death-brain-dead-body-consciousness-science/

Petter Bøckman (talk) 08:17, 23 October 2017 (UTC)

That issue was visited in court because of its implications on life-support, life insurance, and execution of wills. I think that is when it was decided that -in humans- they check for brain activity (brain death). But I don't think we should go into that in this article. I see your suggestion above as an improvement while keeping it brief. Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 13:38, 23 October 2017 (UTC)
The problem of identifying life vs death is not restricted to humans. There's processes like anabiosis for instance, muddling the water. Petter Bøckman (talk) 10:57, 24 October 2017 (UTC)
I agree that improvement along these lines is needed; however, I see confusion as a result of separating "determining when death has occurred" from "requires drawing precise". The complete thought is better left alone unless the long sentence is shortened and clarified by a second sentence as follows:
One of the challenges in defining death is in distinguishing it from life. Death would seem to refer to either the moment life ends, or when the state that follows life begins.[204] However, determining when death has occurred requires drawing precise conceptual boundaries is difficult, as cessation of life functions is often not simultaneous across organ systems. Such determination therefore requires drawing conceptual lines between life and death. This is problematic, however, because there is little consensus over how to define life. The nature of death has for millennia been a central concern of the world's religious traditions and of philosophical inquiry. Many religions maintain faith in either a kind of afterlife or reincarnation for the soul, or resurrection of the body at a later date.
That might help to dispel the confusion.  Paine Ellsworth  put'r there  09:22, 26 October 2017 (UTC)
That's much better! The National Geographic article is a decent source for the asymmetrical rate of death across sytems. Petter Bøckman (talk) 19:05, 27 October 2017 (UTC)
Thank you, Petter Bøckman, and since there were no objections, I went ahead and made the change using the Nat Geo reference source. Has the "Death" article been checked to see if a similar change is needed?  Paine Ellsworth  put'r there  00:36, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
Good point Paine, the Death article has thesame wording (and problem) in chapter 4.3, second section and could probably benefit from the same ammendment. Petter Bøckman (talk) 06:10, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
Okay, we'll see how the other involved editors take to the alteration in that article. Be well, Petter Bøckman.  Paine Ellsworth  put'r there  10:51, 8 November 2017 (UTC)