Viruses cannot grow or reproduce, but they can manufacture copies of themselves by stealing protein mass and other nutrients from host cells. Viruses propagate exponentially, given adequate material with which to work.Continue Reading
Viruses create more of themselves by repurposing the cells they infest. The cells are forcibly reconfigured into producers of more of the infesting virus, their original functions either compromised or destroyed entirely. This process is what makes some viruses so potentially deadly to humans and other animals.
Viruses incorporate either DNA or RNA in their nucleic acid. Some are so simple and small that they encode only four proteins, while others are staggeringly complex, incorporating 100 to 200 encoded proteins. The huge breadth of diversity in virus structure and complexity makes it difficult to combat their predation of human cells and their extreme facility for destroying cellular material makes them the source of many common afflictions, some deadly or horrific, others commonplace.
Viruses are widely used in laboratory research. Cells taken over by viruses provide huge insights into the workings of cellular material and the ways in which cells can be modified, healed and broken down. They are used in gene therapy techniques to deliver payloads of genetic material to cells and to reconfigure those cells to produce more of said material.Learn more about Biology
By maintaining homeostasis, organisms remain healthy, strong and stable, with protection from the attacks of foreign organisms, such as viruses, bacteria and fungi. Homeostasis enables organisms to remain balanced while living in constantly changing environments.Full Answer >
Tissue tropism refers to the cells and tissue of a host organism that make the host hospitable to the growth of certain types of viruses and bacteria. While some bacteria and viruses can infect many types of cells and tissue, most microorganisms have primarily a single tissue tropism.Full Answer >
The types or groups of human pathogens include bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa, worms and prions. All of these pathogens are responsible for causing disease in human hosts, but some are more common than others.Full Answer >
The smallest virus as of 2014 belongs to a group of viruses known as parvoviruses. These spherical viruses are about 18 nanometers in diameter and can only be seen through an electron microscope. To put that size in perspective, one nanometer is one-billionth of a meter.Full Answer >