Are Sperm Alive?

Ed Arias earias1 at uic.edu
Sun Jan 12 01:34:52 EST 1997


Dr E. Buxbaum wrote:
> 
> Life can be defined by five characteristics:
> 
> 1) Form: At any time there is a distinct border between a living organism
> and its environment, rather than a gradual transition. The form may
> change over time (amoebae), but it is always given.
> 
> 2) Mobility: All life forms are mobile, at least at some stage in their
> life. Note that for example the orientation of a leaf towards the sun in
> plants counts as mobility.
> 
> 3) Composition: Living organism maintain a concentration gradient of
> substances between them and their environment.
> 
> 4) Propagation: Living organisms are able to reproduce themselfs.
> 
> 5) Metabolism: Living organisms use energy from their environment to
> achieve the above mentioned functions.
> 
> Going through this checklist, you will find that sperms are alive, but
> for example viruses are not (no metabolism).

According to your 4th definition of life...sperm CAN reproduce "themselves"...I 
seriously don't think so.

-- 
Ed Arias
University of Illinois at Chicago
Dept of Physiology & Biophysics
835 S. Wolcott Avenue
Chicago, IL  60612
Tel:    312.996.4161
Fax:    312.996.1414
e-mail: earias1 at uic.edu
WWW:    http://www.uic.edu/~earias1/racquetball.htm



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