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There are two kinds of cells, prokaryotic and eukaryotic, both of which consist of cytoplasm enclosed within a membrane and contain many biomolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids.
Cells reproduce through a process of cell division, in which the parent cell divides into two or more daughter cells.
and replicate by creating multiple copies of themselves through self-assembly.
However, viruses do not metabolize and they require a host cell to make new products.
To survive in most ecosystems, life must often adapt to a wide range of conditions.
Some microorganisms, called extremophiles, thrive in physically or geochemically extreme environments that are detrimental to most other life on Earth.
Fossils are the preserved remains or traces of organisms.
This characteristic exhibits all or most of the following traits: Others take a systemic viewpoint that does not necessarily depend on molecular chemistry.
Though currently only known on Earth, life need not be restricted to it, and many scientists speculate in the existence of extraterrestrial life.
Artificial life is a computer simulation or man-made reconstruction of any aspect of life, which is often used to examine systems related to natural life.
One systemic definition of life is that living things are self-organizing and autopoietic (self-producing).
Variations of this definition include Stuart Kauffman's definition as an autonomous agent or a multi-agent system capable of reproducing itself or themselves, and of completing at least one thermodynamic work cycle.