|Why can't something live without some type of
If something doesn't have genetic material,
it's not alive. It's a rock or a machine or a
toy or something like that. Living things are all
born from their parents, and the genetic material
of the parents is the information that's used for
their offspring. It's part of the definition
'life' - having some genetic information that can
be used and passed on to the offspring.
Genetic material, like our DNA, provides us
with a blueprint for how to make a copy of us. DNA
also is used to make proteins, which are the
building blocks of most of our cells, tissues, and
organs. If we don’t have DNA, then we can’t make
protein which is used in cell-to-cell signaling,
we can’t transport atoms throughout the body, and
we wouldn’t have antibodies that help protect the
body from foreign invaders.
Genetic material is used to create proteins,
which are the chemicals that make life work.
Without any genetic material, there would be no
new proteins, and the life-form would die as its
existing proteins would wear out or otherwise
become useless. Without genetic material there
would also be no ability for life to make more of
itself (something that all life can do), since
the genetic material also serves as the means of
carrying information from parent to offspring.
Click Here to return to the search form.
Copyright © 2015 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.