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Evolution/living organisms out of of water

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Question
Hi,

I would like to know whether all living organisms were made of water. Does virus, bacteria  formed out of water and does it contain water? Is water essential for organisms to  form and evolve?

Regards.

Answer
Dear Ameen,

While life did not originate out of water molecules, all truly living organisms on earth have a high percentage of water making up their living mass.  Even bacteria have an aqueous (water-based) cellular matrix.

Viruses are not considered to be truly alive, as they cannot reproduce on their own without the aid of a host cell.  They are composed of protein and nucleic acid (either RNA or DNA), and contain little or no water.

For an interesting overview of how life may have originally formed on earth (and we're not completely sure yet, but scientists are really getting much closer!), please see:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTCoKlB0s4Y

And a really cool recent advance is described here:

http://www.pbs.org/video/1790640610/

Enjoy!

Dana

Evolution

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Volunteer


Dana Krempels

Expertise

I can answer questions about evolutionary mechanisms and theory, including genetic drift, mutation, natural selection, etc. I also can clear up misconceptions about evolution as it's sometimes talked about by those not well-versed in the subject (e.g., some politicians and many religious fundamentalists).

Experience

I have a Ph.D. in Biology, and presently teach Evolution and Biodiversity, Genetics, Botany, and Zoology at the University of Miami.

Organizations
House Rabbit Society Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society

Publications
Exotic DVM Magazine (veterinary journal)

Education/Credentials
B.S. in Biology B.A. in English Ph.D. in Biology

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