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Microorganisms: Bacteria, Viruses, And Prions Essay

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.
Bacteria, viruses, and prions all have different types of structures. However, bacteria and viruses are more alike in the aspect of nucleic acid. Bacteria come in numerous shapes, but most bacteria are in the shape of a sphere (cocci). Their other ...view middle of the document...

Polypeptide chains change their shape causing a different configuration. Unlike bacteria and viruses, prions don’t have nucleic acid.
As you have read, all three of these microorganisms have very different structures. Is the way these microorganisms reproduce similar or different? A bacterium is asexually through binary fission. Binary fission literally means diving in half. The bacteria replicate the chromosomes, separates, and then enlarge. Bacteria are so diverse because they have three processes for genetic diversity: Conjugation, transformation, and transduction. During conjugation you have to have direct contact. A donor cell passes DNA to the recipient cell. Transformation picks up free DNA from the environment allowing them to reproduce, and transduction is when the bacteriophages carry DNA to a new cell. Bacteria do not need a certain host in order to reproduce. However, viruses do need a specific host to reproduce. The ways viruses reproduce are either by the lysogenic cycle or the lytic cycle. There are five stages to the lytic cycle: attachment, penetration, biosynthesis, maturation, and release. Overall, the meaning of the lytic cycle is viral particles escape when the cell is broken open. The second way of reproduction is the lysogenic cycle. It doesn’t have particular stages, but it does follow the first two stages of the lytic cycle. In the lysogenic cycle viral DNA is integrated into host DNA, and it may follow the last three steps of the lytic cycle. Prions are so different when it comes to reproduction. They don’t replicate themselves or reproduce. They’re only malformed proteins, so they just happen, and they don’t reproduce.
There are various numbers of diseases that are related to these microorganisms. Bacterial diseases are the easiest to cure. Most of the types of diseases have a cure, and the cure is usually an antibody. A specific example of a bacterial disease is salmonella typhimurium (salmonella). The most common way of obtaining this disease is by eating food that is contaminated with this bacterium. The symptoms are abdominal cramps, fever, and diarrhea. You just deal with the symptoms and the disease will eventually go away. However, if it gets worse there are antibiotics to take. Viral diseases are usually incurable. One of the most common viral diseases is the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV is contracted by fluids either by blood, semen, or vaginal floods, and they are most commonly transmitted by sexual...

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