Viruses : The Characteristics Of Life Processes

969 WordsOct 5, 20154 Pages
I believe that viruses do possess some of the characteristics of life processes. We still have to ask, does this classify them as a living organism? Compared to the seven characteristics of life, viruses don’t fall in all of the categories. From research and observation, studies have shown that viruses do have different levels of organization, which is important as a life process. Viruses contain either RNA or DNA nucleic acids genes, and a protein coat, which is usually called capsomeres. Even though it does not have many, it still has levels of organization. Viruses can also adapt to their environment. Viruses can live in two different phases; the lytic phase and lysogenic phase inside of their host cell. This shows that they can survive in different conditions. Viruses also have the ability to adapt, which makes it hard to treat, for example, HIV. It makes many mistakes when replicating a gene, which causes it to mutate frequently. Since the virus is constantly changing, it is hard to manufacture drugs and vaccines to combat it. Not all drugs and vaccines will be able to eliminate all of the virions, there will be a few remaining that have resisted the drug/vaccine and will be able to survive and infect more cells, producing more viruses. Those are the two life processes that viruses have. Viruses cannot maintain homeostasis, and this is a very important life process. Homeostasis is being able to control and monitor the internal conditions. A living thing used to be

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