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Proceedings Paper

Abiotic, biotic, and in-between
Author(s): Vera M. Kolb; P. J. Liesch
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Paper Abstract

In our search for the definition of life that will be relevant for astrobiology, we consider various entities that have some but not all of their features in common with the fully developed functioning life. We name these entities "life forms". Examples include viruses, spores, and partners in syntrophy (metabolically interdependent relationships). We introduce meaningful categories into which these life forms fit, and offer a definition of life in which they are included. Our suggested working definition of life is that life is a chemical phenomenon which occurs in space and time as a succession of life forms which combined have a potential to metabolize, reproduce, interact with the environment, including other life forms, and are the subject to natural selection.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 August 2008
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 7097, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology XI, 70970A (28 August 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.792668
Show Author Affiliations
Vera M. Kolb, Univ. of Wisconsin-Parkside (United States)
P. J. Liesch, Univ. of Wisconsin-Parkside (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7097:
Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology XI
Richard B. Hoover; Gilbert Victor Levin; Alexei Yu. Rozanov; Paul C.W. Davies, Editor(s)

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