7 Characteristics of Life
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7 Characteristics of Life
Next Generation: MS.LS1.1 NGSS

7 Characteristics of Life

Author: Nathan Lampson

Learn about the building blocks of life in this lesson by examining cellular organization and development. By introducing the 7 characteristics of all living things, including reproduction, homeostasis and evolution, you will develop a solid foundation through which to build your comprehensive level in science. Learn what factors to consider when determining life and which components contribute to the unique sense of separate living things.

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Living things have 7 characteristics in common.


1 - Made up of cells

Cells are the basic unit of life. Living things are composed of cells.


2- Cellular Organization

Living things are able to organize simple things into complex things.  Humans can organize cells that are alike into tissues and organs.


3 - The Chemicals of Life

Living cells are composed of similar chemicals, water, carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids.


4 - Energy Use

Living things use energy to repair and function -- your brain cells are using energy right now.


5 - Response to Surroundings

Living things react to changes in environment. Populations evolve over time. You respond to your surroundings when you are startled by a car horn.


6 - Growth and Development

Living things grow from the energy found in organic molecules and develop, becoming more complex over time.


7 - Reproduction

Living things duplicate their genetic code and produce offspring.