Are Viruses Alive

2 February 2017

Viruses can’t function on their own and depend on a host cell for their energy and reproduction. Viruses cannot reproduce unless they get inside a living host cell. Once a virus attaches itself to a host cell it dissolves a hole through the membrane and goes to the nucleus to force the host cell to replicate the virus. Viruses are parasites.

Bacteria can function on their own, metabolizing and converting carbohydrates to energy. Bacteria reproduce by growing to twice its size and then splitting into two cells. Viruses are not classified and grouped into a level of biological organization like other life forms are. Bacteria are classified to have two levels of biological organization, Atoms and Molecules. 2. According to the article readings, website reviews and lecture notes we were asked to review: β€’ Name the characteristics of life viruses seem to lack as they differ from the lecture outline.

Considering all characteristics of life described in the lecture outline beginning with the hierarchy of Biological Organization to Evolve: Viruses have the biological organization of atoms and molecules because they are made up of nucleic acid and protein.

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Viruses lack the emergent property of living things, which is the cell. They are not classified in any kingdom of organisms. Viruses compensate by attaching themselves to a host cell and dissolving the cell membrane and then they enter the nucleus of the host cell and force the nucleus to replicate the virus.

Viruses lack the ability to metabolize and convert carbohydrates to usable energy. Viruses compensate by using the energy from the host cell. Viruses lack a sense of responsiveness because it happens at a cellular level, which they do not have. Viruses lack DNA because all of them do not have it. They compensate for this by using what they do have. Some viruses have a single strand RNA that is unraveled and replicated by the host cell and some viruses have a single strand DNA that is also replicated by the host cell.

They lack the ability to reproduce and develop without the assistance of a host cell. Viruses are constantly changing and mutating for their struggle to survive. 3. Based on what I have learned in the readings and lecture background it is my opinion that viruses are not living agents or organisms. They do not have the basic characteristics of life, which is the cell. They cannot function or survive on their own. They cannot produce energy or reproduce on their own. I would describe them as a parasite borrowing life from other cells. 4.

Why hasn’t a vaccine against the AIDS virus been invented yet? When the AIDS virus was first discovered in affected mostly gay men and then intravenous drug users. There was no big rush from the drug companies or anyone for that matter to find a cure. The majority of the cases were from Africa and other third world countries that were poor so the drug companies knew that they could not make a lot of money if they did find a cure. More recently there is a push to find a cure because more people are becoming infected with the HIV virus that causes AIDS.

The problem today is having the scientific community as a whole work together and share the information to find a cure. b. Briefly summarize the progress of the HIV/AIDS vaccine in one paragraph: There has recently been an examination under study of the theory that some imperfect HIV vaccines may allow people that are infected with HIV virus live longer and healthier lives. Drs. Norman Letvin M. D. of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School and Mario Roederer Ph D. of the NIAID Vaccine Research Center (VRC) are the two teams of researchers working on this theory.

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