Project #62838 - BIO discussion

BUDGET 20$

Are viruses alive?  In lecture 1 we discussed the criteria scientists used to consider an organism alive.  Which of these criteria do viruses meet and which do they not meet?

150words+ for above question and reply two of my classmates with 40 words for each.

Post1:

Viruses share some characteristics of living organisms, but are generally not considered alive because they are not cellular and cannot reproduce on their own. Viruses have some attributes of living cells but at the same time they are not truly a cell with a metabolism and cytoplasm or the ability to reproduce independently. They are not technically alive.

Cells have plasma membrane, cells have cytoplasm within them, they have different types of organelles that perform different functions and they have DNA which is genetic material and RNA which is used for protein synthesis.

Viruses have no plasma membrane, no cytoplasm, no organelles to perform metabolic functions, no metabolism inside them. The only thing inside the protein capsid is RNA or DNA and those both act as genetic information for the virus. (Biology Concepts & Connections, Lecture 14 - Viruses)

Post2:

Viruses are complex entities that could be included as living or non-living organisms. They are built and share some things that pretty much other living things exhibit; however they lack some characteristics of the living.

Their makeup consists of just one strand in a protein capsule where their genetic information is composed. What makes them ‘non-living’ is the fact that they do not have many internal structures and a system relative to the living.

The biggest issue of why they are known that way is due to not having biosynthetic machinery which is essential to reproduce. So how do they make offspring? Instead of reproducing to pass of their offspring what viruses do is they infect or attach to a non-suspecting host and use that host to reproduce.

Cites/Sources:

http://serc.carleton.edu/microbelife/yellowstone/viruslive.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1925410/?page=1

Subject Science
Due By (Pacific Time) 03/18/2015 10:30 pm
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