Emergent Properties

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•  Multicellular organisms have properties that emerge from the interaction of their cellular components

Emergent properties arise when the interaction of individual component produce new functions

  • "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” – Aristotle

Multicellullar organisms are capable of completing functions that unicellular organisms could not undertake – this is due to the collective actions of individual cells combining to create new synergistic effects

In multicellular organisms:

  • Cells may be grouped together to form tissues
  • Organs are then formed from the functional grouping of multiple tissues
  • Organs that interact may form organ systems capable of carrying out specific body functions
  • Organ systems collectively carry out the life functions of the complete organism

Organisation of Multicellular Organisms

emergent properties