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Virus vs. Bacteria

anonymous anonymous.scripps.edu
Wed Oct 18 21:47:13 EST 1995

> >A bacteria is a single celled organism capable of replicating on its own
> >A virus is an obligate intracellular parasite which relies upon a host to
> >propogate.  By some definitions it is not alive since it cannot exist
> >alone.
> >
> >Each has a DNA genome which encode their proteins however a virus often
> >relies upon host proteins to fufill its functions.
> >
> >Luis this is so basic you could have looked it up.  Why didn't you?

> Brett Lindenbach
> Program in Immunology                              
> Washington University - St Louis                  
> brett at borcim.wustl.edu                             


If we're going to be condescending in our attitudes towards people without
extensive biology "knowledge", we'd better get our facts straight.  While
it is true that some viruses use a double stranded DNA genome, others use
quite different approaches...(+) and (-) sense ssRNA genomes, double
stranded RNA genomes, RNA genomes with DNA intermediates, DNA genomes with
RNA intermediates, etc.  This is one of the things that makes viruses so
interesting...while the cells all appear to have evolved with a common
pattern (i.e. dsDNA genome, same genetic code...) viruses appear to have
had many different origins. 

Of course, the differences between viruses and bacteria are extensive, but
some of the viruses (i.e. poxviruses in particular) may have evolved from

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