Are Viruses, Prions And Viriods Alive?

834 words - 3 pages

In order to see where viruses, viroids and prions fit into the scheme of life, we need to know what life is and what the properties of life are. The capabilities of viruses, viroids and prions and the diseases they cause. Should they be considered 'alive' if they only contain a few of life's properties because their survival depends on other living cells.Life consists of living things and these living things have cells that have the capacity for "order, reproduction, growth and development, energy utilization, evolutionary adaptation, response to the environment and homeostasis" (Campbell and Reece, 2002). These capabilities represent life in animals, plants and humans.All livings things are susceptible to illness and disease, with viruses being a major cause; they also alter the behaviour of the host of whom they occupy (Villarreal, 2004).The structure of viruses is of "free particles that have a protein coat and a nucleic acid core" (Keeton and Gould, 1967). Viruses have similarities to 'prokaryotic cells' (cells that lack organelles), they share similar "genetic materials and constantly intertwine" (Keeton and Gould, 1967) with each other. The particles 'float' outside the cell, then 'enter' a healthy cell within the host. Once inside, the healthy cell "manufactures new virus particles when the old virus provides the instruction" (Keeton and Gould, 1967). The new particles leave the host cell, move into another cell and repeat the process. Viruses are also capable of entering the cell and remaining 'vegetative' (waiting for the right environmental conditions to emerge), combining their viral DNA with the hosts DNA for replication or as a permanent cell fixture (Keeton and Gould, 1967), it doesn't necessarily kill the cell it enters (Norrby, 1981).There are two kinds of virus, which are based upon the "kind of nucleic acid that makes up its genome" (Campbell and Reece, 2002); either DNA or RNA, a virus never has both. The genomes can have single or double strands of DNA or RNA depending on the type of virus (Campbell and Reece, 2002). Viruses cause disease in "vertebrate, insect, plant and bacterial" forms of life (Norrby, 1981), diseases include (in humans) chicken pox, mumps, measles, small pox, several types of encephalitis, AIDS" and many others, and in plants Tobacco mosaic disease (Campbell and Reece, 2002).Other infectious agents are viroids and prions. Prions are infected proteins that are misfolded and "normally present in brain cells" (Campbell and Reece, 2002). Prions attach themselves to healthy proteins, corrupt the healthy proteins which inturn become prions....

Find Another Essay On Are Viruses, Prions and Viriods Alive?

Bacteria, Prions, and Viruses Essay

1023 words - 5 pages Prions, bacteria, and viruses are all kind of blurred together and known generically as the same thing. All of them infect your body in some way, whether it is a viral infection or a bacterial infection. Most diseases can be treated and/or prevented by the aid of vaccines and antibiotics. Bacteria contain both DNA and RNA. These nucleic acids float freely in the cytoplasm of the cell. Bacterium reproduces asexually by using bacterial

Understanding Viruses, Bacteria, and Prions Essay

1323 words - 5 pages Many people get viruses, prions, and bacteria confused in multiple ways. However, these are different in several aspects, and once informed about them, people should no longer get them mixed up. For example, the most important and most unique differences between bacteria, prions, and viruses is that bacteria is a living organism, prions are not living organisms, and the debate regarding the living status of viruses has been, and still is

Microorganisms: Bacteria, viruses, and Prions

1171 words - 5 pages What are microorganisms? They are organisms that you have to view with a microscope. The three that I will be discussing are bacteria, viruses, and prions. Of the three, a bacterium is the only one that can be helpful to us in many situations, and they are also the most diverse organism on the earth. The structure, reproduction, and the diseases bacteria, viruses, and prion cause are all different. Let’s begin to compare these microorganisms

The Different Characteristics Viruses, Bacteria, and Prions

1477 words - 6 pages Viruses, bacteria, and prions are microscopic, living beings. All three can be found inside and outside hosts. Bacteria and viruses are more similar with each other than a prion with either one. None are even closely related, though. The three of them have different reproduction methods, structures, and choices of hosts. These are not the only differences by a long shot, but it is a start. A virus is an infectious agent. It is very small in

Cybercrime History: Computer Viruses And What Are They?

1977 words - 8 pages like a virus, or worm, Trojan horses and spyware are examples (Morley, Parker, Malicious software, and “More Information About Viruses”). This is not the Trojan horse the ancient Greeks big wooden horse used in the Trojan War (“Trojan horse”). The computer Trojan horse is a type of malware that covers up something else, as a program, like for example a PC game or a utility program (336). Spyware is a software program that is installed without

Trojans,Worms, and Viruses: What Are They and What Can You Do to Stop Them

2339 words - 10 pages figured it out by now, you were looking at pictures online using Google images (for all you Bing fans, I’m sorry but Google is much better). You were downloading pictures from Google and one of them happened to contain a virus and it was downloaded with one of the pictures. How do I know this is a virus? The answer is that I don’t. I didn’t give enough symptoms to diagnose this. To the pros at hacking and security, you may know that viruses are not the

Prejudice and Discrimination are Alive and Well

1733 words - 7 pages principles. From the beginning of time these two colors have determined your life and what you are able to achieve. Many choose to believe that the times of inequality are over, and that equality is given to all, but evidence is presented daily that America portrays the black man to be inferior to the white race. While equality among all have grown in America over the past decade, minorities still have a hard time reaching their goals in

It’s The Little Things That Count

1153 words - 5 pages Viruses, Bacteria, and Prions are all small organisms that can do incredible damage, but also help in other ways too. Each one has a different structural make up, and infects or helps humans in many different ways. In this paper ill talk about the structures of each, the reproductive methods, the ways that each infects humans or other organisms, and what other structures and organisms can be infected by each. First off we will talk about the

"The Definition of Life (Or is it?)" Question: What does it mean to say something is alive, conscious, and/or intelligent? Requirements: 1000-2000 words

1529 words - 6 pages ways such as heating, sterilizing, and more. Prions are not made of cells, can’t reproduce on their own, do not grow or undergo division, and do not transform energy. Many people believe that they are not alive, that they’re just one of our own proteins that has gone wrong and that has the capability to cause normal PrP to go wrong, too.Similarly, viruses are a controversial issue. They are somewhere between complicated complexes and

Prion Diseases

2111 words - 9 pages cases lived in UK for several years and one in Saudi Arabia, most likely contracting the diseases there. However, Americans should still be cautious when eating beef. Cooking the meat won’t kill of prions as they are not alive and are extremely resistant to heat and radiation. Instead, try to eat more unprocessed, solid cuts of beef especially in the UK and the rest of Europe. Obviously, avoid eating the brain and cuts of beef close to the

Prions

1711 words - 7 pages Report on Prions based on some articles. Excellent.PRIONSPrions have been a mistery for scientists from the day they where discovered. Prions act like viruses but they are not. Their structure and chemistry are unknown. They are believed to be proteins but that is yet to be completely proved.Prion stands for "proteinaceous infectious particles". Prions are known to cause many diseases involved with nervous systems like the brain. They are the

Similar Essays

Are Viruses Alive Essay

664 words - 3 pages in fact, living beings, which is where I rest my opinion. I believe that viruses are living, just not in the same way as organisms you see on a daily basis. In my opinion, they are alive due to the fact that they can make use of the resources around them. While they can’t live without a host organism, neither can many other parasites. Blood-sucking organisms, such as ticks and fleas, need a host in order to receive nutrients and will otherwise

Viruses, Bacteria, And Prions Essay

1030 words - 5 pages Viruses, bacteria, and prions are sometimes dangerous, but they can also do some good. These three microorganisms have some similarities and some differences. These microorganisms or organic particles range in size from prions being the smallest to bacteria usually being the biggest. These microorganisms are capable of more than you might think. Although viruses are responsible for many diseases, it has been debated whether or not they are

Bacteria, Viruses, And Prions Essay

1326 words - 6 pages Viruses, bacteria, and prions differ in many ways. There are also multiple similarities between them. First off, how much do you know about viruses? Viruses have various shapes: spheres, rods, or spirals. Viruses have either DNA or RNA, but not both, a protein coat that incases the nucleic acid, and some even have a nuclear envelope. Sometimes viruses have spikes that they use to attach onto their host. Viruses undergo the lytic and lysogenic

Bacteria, Viruses And Prions Essay

1604 words - 7 pages . Web. 29 Mar. 2014. 10. ARE VIRUSES EVEN ALIVE?" Biology4Kids.com: Microorganisms: Viruses. Andrew Rader Studios, 1997-214. Web. 29 Mar. 2014. 11. Mandal, Ananya, MD. "Human Diseases Caused by Viruses." Human Diseases Caused by Viruses. AZoNetwork, n.d. Web. 27 Mar. 2014. 12. Yellow Fever." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13 Dec. 2011. Web. 28 Mar. 2014. 13. Yellow Fever Symptoms and Treatment