Wondering Why?

Why Is Virus Non Living?

Why Is Virus Non Living?

Are you familiar with AH1N1, AIDS, Influenza, Chicken Pox, Measles, Dengue fever and the common cold? I am sure you are as these are diseases that have affected the young and the old in different times or months of a year. All of these are caused by a virus.

Viruses are ultramicroscopic agents with genomes or genetic information which consists of nucleic acid that if entered the body, has the ability to replicate the host cell’s characteristics and uses the host metabolic machinery and ribosome’s to form a group of components and assemble into particles called virions. Virions protect the genome and transfer it to other cells. With this definition, it is debated upon, if a virus is considered a living or non living thing? What characteristics prove that most people would say it is classified as nonliving? Let us all find out.

In order to be classified as living, one must meet the following criteria: it has the ability to reproduce; obtain and use energy; it does grow, live and die; and responds to the environment. On the other hand, these are the qualities of a virus that challenges the definition of life. A virus does not move, nor display irritability, viruses do not perspire and does not grow but somehow they reproduce when they have adapted to a new host. From a botanical and zoological point of view, the characteristic of a virus does not qualify for one to be called a living organism.

One must bear in mind that a virus without a host cell or a human for a host, can do nothing because they are just tiny ultramicroscopic genetic molecules. Although some biologists consider it as living, others do not simply because of its traits. But whether it’s living or not, one should remember that the human body is its means to reproduce, so keep your immune system strong to withstand these viral diseases.


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