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Can you be alive with no cells?
Question Date: 2008-02-24
Answer 1:

No. Cells are one of the characteristics we use to define whether something is alive or not. So all the creatures we call "living things" are made of cells, from the tiniest bacteria to the largest animals and plants. These cells are the "building blocks" of life, and all have RNA or DNA in them and a membrane around the outside. There is however a big difference in the types of cells creatures are made of. Cells can be very different in shape or size, and be really simple or really complex. And they differ between different groups of living things. For instance, bacteria don't have a separate compartment inside to hold their RNA or DNA, while more complex animals do. Plants have a hard wall around the outside of their cells, while animals don't. And while some cells can live on their own, others need to be part of a larger group of cells to survive. The only example of something "alive" without cells might be viruses (like what causes chicken pox or the flu) which are just packets of protein and DNA. But to be honest, viruses are really weird and scientists still aren't sure whether to call them alive, or just to call them particles. Most scientists agree that they are more like particles, and don't really consider them living things. So, to answer your question after all that, you can't be truly alive without cells.

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