There are 7 criteria for an organism to be considered alive:
(a) Homeostasis: Regulation of the internal environment to
maintain a constant state
(b) Organization: Being composed of one or more cells, which are the basic units of life.
(c) Metabolism: Consumption of energy by converting nonliving material into cellular components (anabolism) and
decomposing organic matter (catabolism). Living things
require energy to maintain internal organization (homeostasis) and to produce the other phenomena
associated with life.
(d) Growth: Maintenance of a higher rate of synthesis than
catalysis. A growing organism increases in size in all of its
parts, rather than simply accumulating matter. The particular
species begins to multiply and expand as the evolution
continues to flourish.
(e) Adaptation: The ability to change over a period of time in
response to the environment. This ability is fundamental to
the process of evolution and is determined by the
organism's heredity as well as the composition of
metabolized substances, and external factors present.
(f) Response to stimuli: A response can take many forms, from the contraction of a unicellular organism when touched to complex reactions involving all the senses of higher
animals. A response is often expressed by motion, for
example, the leaves of a plant turning toward the sun or an
animal chasing its prey.
(g) Reproduction: The ability to produce new organisms.
Reproduction can be the division of one cell to form two new
cells. Usually the term is applied to the production of a new
individual (either asexually, from a single parent organism,
or sexually, from at least two differing parent organisms),
although strictly speaking it also describes the production of
new cells in the process of growth.
Because of these factors, cells are alive.
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