In evolutionary terms, a "successful" organism is one that passes on its genes -- not necessarily one that lives a long life.
How are we related to trees? Can we be considered relatives?
Photosynthesis is the biochemical process in which energy from sunlight is converted by plants, algae, and some bacteria into sugars, which are used by the organism as food. That is, these organisms convert the energy of the sun into a different form of energy. However, there is a least one exception: a little bacterium deep under the Pacific Ocean which manages photosynthesis without sunlight. Learn more on this Moment of Science.
You might remember seeing single-cell organisms under a microscope in biology class, and perhaps you remember them as rather boring blobs. Life got much more interesting and complex when the cells joined together to become animals or plants. Most people, biologists as well as you and I, think of cells primarily as building blocks of more complicated organisms. Learn more on this Moment of Science.
Is animal cloning for real? Find out on this Moment of Science.
Did you know that caterpillars are territorial? Learn about the "Tapping Caterpillars" on this Moment of Science.
A global nuclear war--heaven forbid--would end the life of most everything on the planet. But this organism would live on.
What do worms and old people have in common? Find out on this Moment of Science.
When immune cells detect an infectious organism, they produce fever-making chemicals. These chemicals prompt the body to produce prostaglandins, which turn up the thermostat in the brain.
Surprisingly, even though there is no light to catch, the sunflower will continue to bend every day just as it did when it was outside. This is a classic example of what scientists call a circadian rhythm — it’s a daily cycle of behavior that is internal to the organism, rather than being solely triggered by the environment.