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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 organisms based of how the reproduce, which they do so by manipulating a host species. The general structure of viruses includes a polygonal capsid, spikes, and an envelope around the DNA. The capsid surrounds the nucleic acid and the spike are the ...view middle of the document...

Bacteria is a prokaryotic organism that can be cocci (spheres), bacilli (rods), or spirella (spirals). They can be in chains, signified by the prefix strepto- or in clumps signified by the prefix staphylo-. Bacteria is contained by a cell envelope within a capsule that protects it. It has DNA, a non-membrane bound DNA and ribosomes but no other membrane bound organelles. Bacteria also have flagella to move around with.
Bacteria reproduce through binary fission, which is when the cell divides in half and two identical daughter cells come out of it. One of the ways to do this is through transduction, where one bacterium infects the other with its DNA. Another way is through conjugation, where DNA is transferred through direct cell to cell contact. Bacteria can go into a dormant state when they are in endospores which allow them to survive in extreme situations until conditions are favorable for their growth. Cell growth happens exponentially.
Some of the good things bacteria can do are nitrogen fixation, and helping decompose organic waste. But they’re not all good and can cause illnesses such as pneumonia, which can be deadly. Pneumonia is a lung infection that makes it difficult to breathe.
Prions are PrPc proteins that have not formed properly, they are misfolded. Prions can effect mammals. Prion diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, are neurodegenerative diseases. Prions have no nucleic acid but function as if they did. The proteins are arranged in a dense network that form subunits that are linked together to form amyloids. Amyloids have been found to cause Alzheimer’s.
Symptoms for CJD include rapid dementia, coordination problems, change in personality, and impaired thinking, judgment, memory, and vision. CJD is more deteriorating than Alzheimer’s. Determining if a patient has CJD can be discovered by eliminating other treatment options, spinal tapping, performing an EEG or an MRI, and performing a biopsy, which is when a small brain tissue sample is examine by a neuropathologist. A biopsy however is generally a last resort to confirm the diagnosis. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is not an air-born pathogen, exposure happens when you come in contact with infected spinal cord...

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