Should viruses be considered living

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Viruses lack the cellular machinery to be able to reproduce themselves; without using the genetic code of a cell as their host, the genetic information contained within a virus is meaningless. They have a certain potential, which can be snuffed out, but they do not attain the more autonomous state of life.

Unlike cells, viruses do not have the tools to make a copy of their DNA. Privacy Department N. The enucleated cell is akin to the state of being braindead, in that it lacks a full critical complexity.

Thus, without another living cell, viruses cannot replicate and spread. It now displays properties typified by living organisms, such as reacting to its environment and directing its efforts toward self-replication".

This is because they are not capable of replicating themselves on their own. What is the difference between a living thing and a virus? You may correct or delete any or all of the personal information you have provided to us at any time. Before we share your sensitive personal information outside of the previously listed circumstances, we will ask you for permission first.

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They were, and are, not alone. Since there is no historical record of the earliest viruses, the only evidence available is from current species.

A virus can live outside of a host cell but it can not reproduce without a host! More recently, scientists have discovered a new type of virus, called a mimivirus.

He is active in science education and has received a National Science Foundation Presidential Award for mentoring. Some scientists think that different groups of viruses evolved independently, maybe some even came from eukaryotic cells, and some from bacterial cells. Would you like to make it the primary and merge this question into it?

Some researchers thought that these organisms, which arose after bacteria but before vertebrates, simply lost the genes in question at some point in their evolutionary history. But not everyone agrees with this system.

Viruses seem to be in between those 2 categories. Please note that this only applies to sensitive information, as defined above.

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Why aren't viruses considered living things?

And with viruses thus dismissed from the web of life, important contributions they may have made to the origin of species and the maintenance of life may go unrecognized. Thanks for asking, Answer 2: Indeed, one theory suggests that viruses may have arisen from parasitic cells which lost their cellular structure through evolution.

If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteers page to get the process started.Sep 04,  · Viruses are considered to live in a kind of twilight zone between the living and the non living.

This is because they do not have a cellular structure and are non living when outside a host. Even when they enter a host cell, they do not produce any energy and they do not killarney10mile.com: Resolved.

Such bacteria are regarded as living things, albeit very simple ones -- and the researchers argue virus factories should thus be regarded as the true "self" of a virus, while the infectious. Viruses are not considered "alive" because they lack many of the properties that scientists associate with living organisms.

Primarily, they lack the ability to reproduce without the aid of a host cell, and don't use the typical cell-. It is possible to argue that since viruses depend completely on a host to reproduce and pass on traits, they should be considered non-living.

But for now varying definitions exist, and viruses walk the thin line between living and non-living. But within the last decade, developments in virology have started to reveal more and more that viruses might in fact be alive.

One was the discovery of mimiviruses, giant viruses with large genomic libraries that are even bigger than some bacteria.

To put this in perspective, some viruses, like the Ebola virus, have as few as seven genes. Dec 09,  · Viruses have many qualities that could make them be considered to be non-living, but we think that the living qualities of viruses outweigh those non-living characteristics.

Like living things, viruses contain genetic material.

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Should viruses be considered living
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