A virus is a malicious computer program that only replicates within a specific host organism. Viruses may infect a wide variety of living organisms, such as plants, animals, and bacteria. They have a simple biological structure, so even a microscopic virus can be examined using a microscope. The most commonly known types of viruses are: influenza, anthrax, HIV, hepatitis, herpes, and tulip viruses.


When a virus enters a cell, it activates the protein machinery in the infected cells. This machinery performs certain reactions, such as breaking open the ribosome. Inside the ribosome, however, there are viral proteins which must be assembled. Once this is done, the viral DNA is inserted into the newly synthesized membrane. As the virus replicates itself more copies can then enter the host cells and multiply.

Because of its basic mathematical nature, it is easy to see how viral replication occurs. The DNA duplicates itself through chemical and physical processes. In order for the process to be complete, the exact same genetic template must be used repeatedly. There are various factors that influence the rate of viral replication. Factors such as type of host cell, temperature, alkalinity or acidity, Genetics, and Eukaryotic inheritance are all influential.

Some viruses are able to gain the genetic material called the viral genome through mutation. Mitochondrial DNA is passed down the maternal line, while viral genome is passed down the paternal line. Every cell in our body has a set of chromosomes. Most of the chromosomes consist of two pairs, but occasionally a third pair is introduced. All chromosomes are passed on by inheritance.

Not all viruses are killed by the host cell’s immune system. Sometimes, the viruses take up residence in the living cell. The most common instance is when a person with HIV has a compromised immune system and uses contaminated needles to inject drugs. Other types of viruses remain alive in the host cell until they find a new host. Examples of such viruses are retroviruses, which are alive in the body and cause infections; and bacteria, which may be present in the body without a separate immune system and may use bacteria as a source of food.

It takes about 100 million years for a virus to replicate. This means that viruses are constantly changing and becoming different forms. However, the only way to keep a virus from replicating is to stop the virus from infecting the host cell. This is done by mutating the virus during the replication process. Some viruses can be prevented from replicating by using drugs such as shampoos or disinfectants. However, because of their incredible speed and agility, viruses continue to increase the threat to health and life.