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Unsolved Problems in Biology

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  1. Introduction
  2. What is Life? Are there life forms in the universe that are not based on carbon? Is there a clear boundary between carbon-based life and Artificial life?
  3. How Did It Start? What are the different hypotheses of origin of life? Did life begin on this planet, was there inanimate intervention (such as a meteor hitting the earth) or intelligent, extraterrestrial design? What are the mechanisms of biorhythms and chronobiology? Why is magnetite in living creatures?
  4. Sexual Reproduction: Why have so many biological systems developed sexual reproduction?
  5. Tree of Life: Do all animals link together to a primary source?
  6. Protein folding: Given a DNA sequence, what shape will the protein fold into? Given a particular desired shape, what DNA sequence will produce it?
  7. Consciousness. What is it? Can we create artificial life that has human-like consciousness?
  8. Sleep: Why is it necessary for mammals to sleep? Or dream, come to that?
  9. Viruses. What are the signs of current or past infection to discover where Ebola hides between human outbreaks?
  10. Where is memory/information stored in brain? How are other animals different than humans in regard to brain function?