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Viruses vs bacteria

Bruce Phillips bap at MED.PITT.EDU
Wed Oct 18 17:28:42 EST 1995


	There are four distinguishing features that are used oroutinely to
define viruses as compared to bacteria (prokaryotes) or animal cells
(eukaryotes).
		1.  Viruses, unlike bacteria, etc., do NOT Uuse binary
fission to reporoduce.

		2.  Viruses are unique in that they replicate by the 
directed synthesis of their component parts which then assemble into
infectious virus particles.

		3.  Viruses do not synthesize chemicals of high potential
energy, such as ATP, etc.  While viruses may carry enzymes that utilize
energy in synthesizing macromolecules, they don't have the enzymidc

cenzymic machinery to make ATP and similar molecules.  Bacteria and animal
cells dare able to make such compounds.

		4.  Viruses, unlike bacteria and animal cells, possess only
one kind of nucleic acid, DNA or RNA.  TIn truth, there is some fuzziness
to this attribute, but in general it is true.



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