Viruses; Are they alive? Characteristics of viruses Viruses refer to genetic elements which replicate independently of the chromosome of the cells. Viruses infect plants animals as well as other microorganisms.7 They do not have metabolic mechanism of their own. Virus can only replicate using the metabolic machinery of the host. They possess either RNA or DNA but not both of them.6 2 Viruses are acellular.They have no ATP mechanism no ribosomes but have an outer protein coat. They considered obligatory intracellular parasites. Some viruses are enclosed by envelopes while some of them have spikes. Most of the viruses infect specific or specific cells.4 Viruses are inactive when outside changing viruses but due to altered response by their hosts.6 References Bauman RW Machunis-Masuoka E Cosby CD. Microbiology: With diseases by body system. Benjamin Cummings; 2012. Cangelosi GA Meschke JS. Dead or alive: molecular assessment of microbial viability. Applied and environmental microbiology. 2014 Oct 1;80(19):5884-91. Chiras DD. Human biology. Jones & Bartlett Publishers; 2013 Nov 15. Harper DR. Viruses: Biology applications and control. Garland Science; 2011 Jun 20. Forterre P. Defining life: the virus viewpoint. Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres. 2010 Apr 1;40(2):151-60. Harper DR. Viruses: Biology applications and control. Garland Science; 2011 Jun 20. Shors T. Understanding viruses. Jones & Bartlett Publishers; 2016 Aug 2. [...]
Objectives: -Review and become more familiar with the unifying principles of life discussed in Chapter 1. -Use internet resources to learn basic information about viruses OR prions. -Apply the unifying principles of life to determine whether or not viruses OR prions should be classified as living organisms. Background: Two different groups of pathogens are the viruses and prions. Viruses are responsible for diseases and illnesses such as influenza, chicken pox, measles, and AIDS. Prions are responsible for mad cow disease and its human equivalent, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD). Don’t be fooled. The answer to the question of whether or not these are alive is more complex than a simple yes or no. The argument as to whether or not at least one of these groups is alive is still raging in the scientific community. You will need to learn about the structure and characteristics of the group (viruses or prions) that you have chosen and then use the unifying principles of life (Chapter 1) to determine whether your group meets each principle. Based on this analysis, make a decision about whether or not YOU would classify your group as alive or not alive. Support your argument with specific details. Procedure: 1. Choose viruses or prions to research using internet resources. 2. Find reliable sources to learn more about the characteristics 3. Describe the characteristics of the group (viruses or prions) 3. Analyze whether or not your group (viruses or prions) satisfy each of the unifying principles (particularly principles 1-8) 4. Decide whether you would classify your group as alive or not. 5. Explain what criteria you used to support your decision. Cited with AMA citations.