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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 structural make up of each. Viruses each have a very specific structure, that doesn’t vary all to much from virus to virus. Each one has three main parts; The outer capsid, which is comprised of protein subunits encases the nucleic acid, and then ...view middle of the document...

In the Lytic cycle the virus inserts its DNA into the host cell, and takes over the cells machinery. It then uses the host organelles to reproduce new viral cells until the cell bursts and releases the new viruses. In the Lysogenic cycle it is the same at first, but instead of replicating exact copies of its own DNA it first incorporates its DNA with that of the host cell, that way it has forever altered its genetic makeup, allowing for mutations which make the virus harder to treat. Bacteria typically replicate in the same way that many single celled organisms do. They replicate all of their organelles, send copies of the genetic material to each end, and then pinch in the middle forming to daughter cells from the original cell. However, they can also use their conjugation pilis as a way to exchange genetic material between two different bacteria. Once the material has been exchanged they then separate and both undergo binary fission, creating four daughter cells that have slightly altered DNA from their two original parents. Prions are much lesser known, and much less is known about their reproductive cycle. The current hypothesis suggests that prions that are altered bind the healthy ones and induce them to change into the altered shape, therefore creating a chain reaction.
There are many diseases caused by these micro organisms, but each is specific to the agent that caused it. One of the most common diseases is influenza, or the flu, which is caused by a virus. The symptoms are chills, fever, headache, sore throat, muscle pains, weakness, and general discomfort. It can be transmitted by air, or contact with surfaces that have the virus on them. A common bacterial disease is Strep Throat, which is a bacterial infection in the back of the throat. This often has symptoms of a swollen or sore throat, and pain when swallowing. However, it is usually not associated with coughing or having a runny nose, as those are symptoms of a cold, not strep. Strep can be transmitted much the same as a virus, because if coughed on, the vapor from their saliva has bacteria in it that can land on object or even you, causing infection. It usually takes a few days however, before the symptoms kick in. Bacterial infections are treated...

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