Viruses: Living or Nonliving?
A virus is a very unusual kind of organism. For one thing, its structure can hardly be called a cell. It does not have the usual parts of a cell. So for you is it a living thing or nonliving thing?
It is not suitable to call virus as a living thing. Although it contains different types of genetic materials like DNA and or RNA and some types of proteins, it is unable to self replicate and always needs a living host (which can be a bacteria or any other types of organism.). Because it lacks replicating materials that help in the continuing life cycle, it can better be called as the connecting link of nonliving thing and living thing.
How can you say it would not be suitable to call viruses as living thing if it is alive when it is inside the cell? But the mystery is that it is nonliving when it is outside the cell.
To be called as a living thing, one must be able to self replicate that means one must contain things used to synthesize proteins, replicate genetic materials, and can divide into many without the help of any other living things.
Using common speech we say we kill viruses such as when we treat the illnesses they cause with anti-viral medication. So if they can be killed, it seems to me they have to be considered alive before they die. And if I remember my basic biology correctly, a biological organism doesn't have to be able to reproduce in order to be considered a living organism.
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