Exceptions of living things NOT composed of cells?

Scott Coutts scott.coutts at med.monash.edu.au
Mon Jan 26 01:57:45 EST 2004


Tom Williams wrote:
> I'm an undergraduate student who's curious about 
 > something mentioned in an anatomy lecture:
> 
> My professor said that it was possible to have 
 > life without a cell, or cells.
> 
> How can this be??? Can somebody please explain 
 > how, or even if this is true?
> 

Hi Tom,

It depends on how he defines 'life'. This always instigates a big 
discussion on what 'life' actually means.

He's probably talking about anything able to replicate, so then he's 
including viruses. Viruses are able to replicate, but as far as I'm 
concerned, this is not 'life'... I dont regard viruses as 'living'. If 
you're interested, you might like to look up viriods and prions - 
they're able to replicate, but they're smaller than viruses... They're 
single molecules!

Scott.




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