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The Processes of Living

  • David S. Goodsell

Abstract

What is life? We all know a living thing when we see it, but when you get right down to it, it’s hard to come up with a consistent definition. For instance, plants grow and are alive, but crystals, which also grow, are not alive. What is the difference? In 1944, the physicist Erwin Schrödinger presented a very simple definition of life that has withstood the test of time. He identified one property that all life shares: living things avoid decay into equilibrium.

Keywords

Lipid Bilayer Chemical Energy Iodine Atom Living Thing Molecular Machine 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Molecular BiologyThe Scripps Research InstituteLa JollaUSA

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