Why are cells called the basic unit of life?
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Q:

Why are cells called the basic unit of life?

A:

Quick Answer

Cell are considered the basic unit of life because all life forms are composed of them. Some forms of life are made of one cell; others contain trillions.

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The simplest forms of life on earth are bacteria. They are made of a single cell, and they are believed to be the first form of life to arise on earth that still exists today. While plant and animal cells are significantly more complex than bacteria, there are a number of similarities that strongly suggest that modern cells descended from bacteria.

As cells began working together, they eventually formed into distinct collections of cells. Plants and animals are the result of this evolution, and all forms of life on earth are comprised of cells with more similarities than dissimilarities. The versatile nature of cells makes them great at adapting to new roles.

Viruses are not considered cells, as they must infect a cell to reproduce and lack many structures present in other cells. When a virus is not attached or inside a cell, it is completely inert. Because of this, experts argue whether viruses should be considered a form of life. If they are alive, they represent the only non-cellular form of life known to exist on the planet.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is cell theory?

    A:

    Cell theory is the scientific theory that describes the properties of cells, primarily that the cell is the basic unit of life, and all living things are made of cells and all cells come from pre-existing cells. Modern cell theory is the result of centuries of research and experimentation facilitated by the invention of the microscope. Cell theory dispels the past myth of spontaneous generation or life coming from nothing.

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  • Q:

    Why are cells considered the smallest unit of life?

    A:

    Cells are considered the smallest unit of life because they are the smallest components in living things, and some organisms, such as bacteria, are made up of single cells. In addition, each part of the animal body, including blood vessels, organs and skin, is made up of a congregation of cells.

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    What are the "building blocks of all living things"?

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    The basic unit of life and the smallest unit of life is the cell. Tissues are comprised of many cells, and many tissues make up organs. Every organism in the world is comprised of cells.

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  • Q:

    Why are cells called the building blocks of life?

    A:

    Cells are called the building blocks of life because they are the basic unit for all living organisms, and must be present for life to exist. Plants and animals have trillions of cells, while protists have only one cell, yet protists are still considered to be living organisms.

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