Is a virus alive?

Karl Roberts kr1 at PGSTUMAIL.PG.CC.MD.US
Thu Feb 13 14:55:06 EST 1997

Viruses can, without too much discussion, be considered acellular 
biological entities. Since the concept of what constitutes life is still 
basically unresolved and subject to personal interpretation, it is 
probably best to think of viruses in this fashion. Obligate intracellular 
parasites can include viruses, chlamydiae, mycoplasmas, and possibly even 
prions and viroids, if you wish...viruses even have their own system of 
classification, separate from other entities. You decide, and let us know.

On Thu, 13 Feb 1997, Stephen W. Mamber wrote:

> cigolott at nbnet.nb.ca wrote:
> > 
> > In message <Pine.SUN.3.91.970201140709.833G-100000 at dante> -
> > "R. BAKER" <rubaker at nmsu.edu> writes:
> > ]
> > ]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
> > 
> > Rgere are also obligate intracellular parasites that do the
> > same thing. Mycoplasms come to mind.
> But I would call a virus an ACELLULAR obligate parasite whereas
> mycoplasmas have a prokaryotic cell structure.
> mamber at synapse.bms.com

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