What Is A Virus?
Most viruses are actually extremely small parasites. They’re made up of genetic material within an invisible protein coating. The protein coat protects the viral DNA from being destroyed by the body’s immune system. Viruses mostly cause common infectious diseases like the common cold, flu, and warts. They also cause more serious infections like AIDS, Ebola, andCO VID 19.
All viruses use only one protein shell or envelope to enter the human genome. In the past, researchers thought that all viruses had exactly the same protein shell and all viruses looked the same to humans. Scientists have since learned that the structure of the virus genome can greatly affect how the virus enters the human body. For example, retroviruses – the ones causing the common cold – utilize a protein shell that is much like the coat of a cat’s paw.
Every living cell on earth makes copies of themselves. Some viruses, called retroviruses, are specific to one type of organism. These viruses infect bacteria and other organisms without any outside help. Some viruses infect only specific types of organisms. These pathogenic viruses are typically found in animals, but they can also be found in plants, eukaryotic organisms (organisms with a cell nucleus) and bacteria.
The most common type of virus infects the host cell (the cells of the body that receive the virus). There are two different types of viruses that infect the host cell; the enveloped viruses and the surface virus. The envelope viruses are enveloped within their host cell’s protein shell; therefore, they are enclosed within the genome of the host cell they infect.
The surface virus is external and surfaces to the host cell. It is not encased within the genome of the host cell, but it can replicate. Because of this feature, it can be passed from one organism to another. The major differences between an enveloped virus and a surface virus are: the envelope is only partially encased in the host cell, the viral molecule is bigger, it replicates rapidly, and it has genetic material on its surface.
A virus is a living organism that can multiply either by entering into an organism or by invading an organism. It can cause either permanent damage or the regulation of the growth and reproduction of an existing population. Some viruses spread from nonliving organisms to living ones through transmittal of the genetic material they contain. Some viruses even replicate inside other living cells, such as bacteria or other forms of cells.