Is viruses dead or alive

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Is viruses dead or alive

Are viruses dead or alive? Answer by Catherine Mansfield Asked by Jeffrey from Madison November 12, This depends on your definition of what it means to be alive.

Is viruses dead or alive

Viruses do possess certain characteristics that are associated with living organisms but lack others which are often thought to be the defining properties of life. They are made up of organic material such as nucleic acids DNA or RNAproteins, lipids and carbohydrates, however, they do not have a cellular structure and therefore cannot metabolise, grow and divide as living cells would do.

Viruses can replicate within a host cell and therefore are able to evolve through the accumulation of mutations in their DNA or RNA and the process of natural selection.

However, as viruses are entirely dependent on the host organism and therefore cannot survive by themselves, the generally accepted view is that viruses are not alive. They can be thought of more as organic machines which are able to replicate only by hijacking the cellular machinery of the host organism.An ecosystem is a community made up of living organisms and nonliving components such as air, water, and mineral soil.

Ecosystems can be studied in two different ways. They can be thought of as interdependent collections of plants and animals, or as structured systems and communities governed by general rules.

The living and non . This tremendous dependence on host cells push them to the limits of the definition of life, with some considering them alive and others dead. It is no wonder that most zombie stories involve a virus.

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VIRUSES. Centuries before the first caveman appeared, viruses existed on earth. In their earliest forms, viruses were harmless messengers delivering hereditary information from newly developed life to its offspring in plants, fungi, . Oct 14,  · Viruses challenge our definition of life.

Neither dead nor alive, they are simply functional or not. Viruses do not possess the machinery to replicate themselves. Yet you can even argue that they are more evolved than us.

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With each discovery about viruses, we realize there is so much more to learn. Are Viruses Alive? This article in Scientific American discusses how viruses, somewhere between living and nonliving, are categorized in biology, and their role in evolution The megabase genome sequence of the Mimivirus.

Viruses are alive, if only because life is a widespread system of evolving chemistry. Not everyone agrees with this distinction, based on the fact that, like rocks, viruses do not have self-generated or self-sustaining actions.

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