Viruses cannot grow or reproduce, but they can manufacture copies of themselves by stealing protein mass and other nutrients from host cells. Viruses propagate exponentially, given adequate material with which to work.Know More
Viruses create more of themselves by repurposing the cells they infest. The cells are forcibly reconfigured into producers of more of the infesting virus, their original functions either compromised or destroyed entirely. This process is what makes some viruses so potentially deadly to humans and other animals.
Viruses incorporate either DNA or RNA in their nucleic acid. Some are so simple and small that they encode only four proteins, while others are staggeringly complex, incorporating 100 to 200 encoded proteins. The huge breadth of diversity in virus structure and complexity makes it difficult to combat their predation of human cells and their extreme facility for destroying cellular material makes them the source of many common afflictions, some deadly or horrific, others commonplace.
Viruses are widely used in laboratory research. Cells taken over by viruses provide huge insights into the workings of cellular material and the ways in which cells can be modified, healed and broken down. They are used in gene therapy techniques to deliver payloads of genetic material to cells and to reconfigure those cells to produce more of said material.Learn more about Biology
A virulent virus causes symptomatic or severe disease, while temperate, or non-virulent, viruses rarely cause any disease symptoms at all. Influenza viruses are virulent, causing quick and severe flu symptoms, while temperate viruses like cytomegalovirus cause no symptoms at all and often go unnoticed.Full Answer >
Biological mutant agents are substances that change the genetic material of organisms, such as DNA, and include certain chemicals and rays, such as ultraviolet radiation, X-rays and gamma rays, along with viruses and bacteria. Many mutagenic agents cause cancer, and are dually classified as carcinogens. While mutant agents cause artificial changes in genetic codes and replication, some mutations occur naturally and are caused by spontaneous hydrolysis and errors in DNA replication, recombination and repair.Full Answer >
While extreme high or low temperatures technically do not kill viruses, the influenza virus and many others are deactivated at temperatures ranging from 165 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit, the boiling point for water. Since viruses lack many of the basic structures and functions necessary to be considered a living organism, they technically cannot die.Full Answer >
During their life span, most viruses are both living and non-living organisms. Whether they are living or non-living depends on if they have found a host.Full Answer >