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Viruses, Bacteria & Prions Essay

810 words - 4 pages

Viruses, bacteria, and prions are all major topics in biology. These particles can have many traits and characteristics that are the same or they can differ greatly. Many diseases can be caused by these three things. This paper is going to inform you on these three topics, the way they compare and contrast, and examples for explanation purposes.
What are these biological things? A virus is an infective agent that typically consists of a nucleic acid molecule in a protein coat, it is too small to be seen by light microscopy, and is able to multiply only within the living cells of a host. A virus can infect all types of life forms and need a host cell to survive which could include ...view middle of the document...

In contrast bacteria are sensitive to antibiotics so they can be treated. What all three of these have in common however is that each of them are able to be transmitted by similar ways such as ingestion.
Anthrax is an acute disease that is caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. This is a deadly disease that has taken many lives and has recently been used in biological warfare. This fortunately is caused by a bacteria and now has a vaccine that can be used to treat the disease. This disease like some other bacteria can form dormant endospores in order to survive in harsh conditions.
An example of a virus that is a little different from anthrax would be the bird flu (H5N1). This virus has been in the news recently and has really stirred back up when a couple dutch scientists created an even more transmissible strain of the H5N1 virus in a lab. This is carried by wild birds and farm raised fowl but it had made the leap from birds to humans, it has the ability to easily move from human to human. These viruses are very dangerous because they cannot be treated like bacteria.
An example of a prion is the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease which is a rare and fatal condition that affects the brain. These abnormal proteins build up in the brain which is why is causes such terrible damage. Like a virus these are not sensitive to antibiotics or antiviral medicines. These are...

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