Living virus?

Trond Erik teva at online.no
Mon Aug 24 08:24:44 EST 1998

Thanks for your response.

Life is divided in 5 kingdoms (sometimes 6 because Kingdom Monera is by
some divided into Kingdom Archaebacteria and Kingdom Eubacteria). These
are:  Kingdom Monera (procaryotes), Kingdom Protista (unicellular
eucaryotes), Kingdom Plantae (multicellular eucaryoyes that carry out
photosynthesis, Kingdom Fungi (defines by its nutritional mode) and
Kingdom Animalia (multicellular eucaryotes that ingest other organisms).

Surely, virus don't belong to any of these. The definition (from the top
of my head, I don't have the right book in front of me) of Life says that
to be a living organism it should contain an own apparatus for
self-replication. In other words for virus to be alive, they should have
the necessary enzymes to finish DNA replication themselves. As we know
they don't , they are dependent on host-cells for this machinery.

This definition also tells us that other infectious particles like prions
and viroids is not alive, but rather some kind of biological robots.

Trond Erik Vee Aune

Jay Mone' wrote:

> If you know that viruses are not alive, you're one step ahead of me.
> I haven't come across a good definition of life yet, have you?
> Anyway, it is better to refer to "live viruses" as "infectious virus".
> The problem is that newspapers, etc., are written at a level a 10
> year old child should understand.
> Jay Mone'

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