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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 cycles when they reproduce. The lytic cycle goes through five stages: attachment, penetration, biosynthesis, maturation, and release. According to Essentials of Biology, “During attachment the capsid combines with a receptor in the bacterial cell ...view middle of the document...

There is such a thing as an emerging virus- such as HIV of West Nile Virus. Viruses are also noncelllular, meaning they are nonliving organisms. The virus can have numerous host cells such as animals, plants, and even bacteria. When a virus infects a plant, it is transmitted by insects or other organisms that feed on the plants.
Bacteria, however, do not take over plants. Their only available hosts are plants and animals. Bacteria existed over 3.5 billion years ago- they have been around for a while! In every single inch of soil there is billions of bacteria, that is crazy to think about! Bacteria reproduce asexually- meaning they reproduce on their own. This process is known as binary fission. It is not a complex process- the cell grows in size and a type of double wall forms around the cell. The cell then separates into two different cells- each able to perform regularly. This process can happen very quickly. If a bacterium feels the conditions it’s in are not perfect, it will form endospores. In this way, the bacterium deteriorates and releases its endospore. Understand that bacteria do not reproduce through this method- it is just a way to survive and grow in new and different places that the endospore travels. Bacteria’s shape can be a sphere, a cylinder, spiral threads, flagellated rods, or chains. A chain of bacterium has the prefix “strepto”, a doublet has the prefix “diplo” and forms between a rod and a sphere is known as “coccobacilli”. Their structure includes DNA, capsules, cell envelopes, a cell wall, cytoplasm, a cytoplasmic membrane, flagella, nucleoid, pili, and ribosomes. Gonorrhea is caused by bacterium. It is a sexually transmitted disease that can infect women and men. Infections can be spread through-out the rectum, throat, and genitals. A bacterium is passed from person to person by personal contact. It is not an uncommon disease; most of the infected are young people.
Like bacteria, prions can infect humans and animals. The structure of a prion does not include nucleic acid, DNA, or RNA. There are two shapes of prions- PrP-sen, the normal prion, and PrP-res which is the abnormal, disease causing prion. Prions look like spi Prions reproduce on their own by self-replicating. Prions replicate themselves without passing through nucleic acid intermediate.. Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, or TSEs, are prion diseases. TSEs are different as they are transmissible. They can replicate and make themselves drug resistant, which means that they can overcome the cure that we try to come up with. A disease caused by prions in humans is CJD- Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. This is a very uncommon fatal brain disorder- yes, sadly, it always ends in a fatality. In about a year, the disease quickly progresses and will kill the victim. It was discovered in the early 1920s but they didn’t understand it was caused by prions until 1997 thanks to Dr. Prusiner. The normal prion proteins turn into the strange, abnormal prion proteins. You...

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