Living virus?

Jan van der Lee baslee at kabelfoon.nl
Mon Aug 24 11:38:35 EST 1998

Hi Erik and other repliers,

Almost right for some of them.

The definition of a living entity in general has more in it than
reproduction itself.

Anything "alive" must have several characteristics.
One: reproduce itself
Two: metabolize (change energy forms from sunlight to chemical energy or
from chemical to kinetic -eg move or from chemical to electrical -eg think
(I think?!?!))
Three: "there are more but I can't recal them now.

Ergo: a virus is dead just as plasmids or pollen.

Bye Jan

Trond Erik wrote:

> Hello
> I know that virus is not a living organism, but is it still normal to
> refer to a functionable virus as "living"?
> The reason for this question is some quotas I've read in newspapers.
> It's about the danger of finding intact and active virus in a 80 year
> old grave containing corpses who died of a disease caused by this virus.
> Commenting on this risk, many scientists referred to such viruses as
> "living". It struck me as strange to call a biological robot as being
> alive, just as strange as calling my car living when it's not broken, or
> my computer living when it's not crashed.
> Sincerely,
> Trond Erik Vee Aune

More information about the Microbio mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net