IUBio

Is a virus alive?

Daniel Kings dan at merebrk.demon.co.uk
Sun Feb 9 18:17:49 EST 1997


On Sat, 1 Feb 1997 14:08:32 -0700, "R. BAKER" <rubaker at nmsu.edu>
wrote:

>Is a virus a living organism or not???  A virus can reproduce only in a 
>host cell and must rely on the host cell's metabolism.  What constitues a 
>virus as alive or non-living????
>russ

Well, one theory is that viruses come from a sequence of DNA that has
'broken' away from the DNA of another organism (usualy after some sort
of mutation) So you could say that a virus is a sort of building block
of another organism, like a little brick of lego. On it's own it is
still an entire entity, yet it is not a complete whole. (I hope you
understood that because I'm not sure I do)


                 Dan. K




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