Is A Virus A Living Or Non Living?

1276 WordsJun 3, 20166 Pages
Scientists are sharpening their swords once again preparing for battle. This vehemence was in sued by new evidence favoring the underdogs of the last campaign, which took place in “1946” (dis. Rice). That hatchet has been buried for 70 years, only to be excavated and used in a global game of hot-potato. The cause of this contention and angst is a microscopic composition of proteins and enzymes. Though it may not seem like a controversial subject, highly intelligent minds are on both sides of the debate. They argue over the question “Is a virus a living or non-living?” Scientists have arranged parameters that all life must fall in, to be classified as life. This classification system has worked with all forms of life that we have found with…show more content…
In theory they would become more and more dependent upon the cell, while simultaneously losing bits of their own genetic material in the process. Given all of the supporting facts, viruses seem to be very much alive. There Is another view that contends viruses as living entities. In 2009 David Moreira & Purificacion Lopez Garcia wrote an entry about the reasons why viruses should not be inducted into the tree of life. The main support of their claim is that viruses do not meet the criteria that defines life. Viruses have the same molecular composition as cells: mainly nucleic acids, proteins, lipids, and complex sugars() . In the past this similarity has led scientists to believe that viruses were alive. For many years’ viruses were thought to be the “missing link” (Moreira & Lopez) between the “non-living and the first cells” (Moreira & Lopez). With the discovery of DNA encoding came a theory and definition for what defines life. The theory was based on the fact that all living entities have DNA and evolve. Under these criteria viruses were considered to be living because we know they contain DNA and there has been considerable research showing the ancestral lineage of viruses. This theory survived for many years as the most widely accepted way to describe life. This theory was put to rest in the year 2000 when the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses officially concluded that viruses are not alive. This view is still held by many scientists
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