DNA - is it alive?

Rolf Marteijn rolf at lx.student.wau.nl
Tue Apr 15 19:59:04 EST 1997


Matthew Stanfield wrote:
> Hi I'm writing a university essay on artificial life. What I would like to
> know is if DNA could under any circumstances be considered alive? What about
DNA is just a (very large) molecule, like proteins, RNA, sugars, starch etc. Definitly 
not alive (in my not so very humble opinion).

> proteins? Bacteria, presumably, are considered alive as are viruses. At what
Bacteria are generally considered alive. However viruses are somewere in the 
twilight zone between live and dead. They can't replicate with their own 
system alone. The discussion will never end, but I favor the 'dead' option.

> point do 'simple things' cease to be alive and become, say, just a chemical
> reaction?
IMHO: -should be an organised system (of molecules) that can self replicate without 
outside interference and able to adopt a bit to the environment. 

This is crude and probably not complete, but it's just my humble opinion.

Cheers,

Rolv



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