Compare/Contrast: Viruses to Cells

Harrison Brode


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Plant and Animal Cell

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Lytic Cycle

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Lysogenic Cycle

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Characteristics of Life

Viruses have few characteristics of life. They do not move, preform cellular respiration, or have a way to reproduce. They do not adapt or maintain homeostasis. They have DNA which allows them to mutate.


1. Describe the typical structure of a virus. What is a virus made of? What biomolecules would you find in a virus?

A virus has DNA or RNA an enzyme and a capsid, some have an envelope. You would find nucleic acid, protein, and lipids.

2. Discuss the different ways viruses gain entry into a cell.

A virus can get into a cell by injecting its DNA into the cytoplasm. A virus can also trick a cell into thinking it's harmless materials, so the cell eats it and the virus gets into the cell.

3. Explain why the Ebola virus would not infect a tobacco plant.

It wouldn't affect tobacco because the Ebola virus is specifically made to attack specific cells in the human body that don't have a cell wall.

4. Name 5 viruses and th type of cell they attack.

Smallpox - Lung Cells

Influenza - Epithelial Cells

Rabies - Brain and Nerve Cells

HIV - Helper T Cells

Ebola - Liver Cells

5. You have been diagnosed with the flu. Explain why a doctor will not provide you with a prescription for antibiotics to cure your infection.

Because the flu is a virus not a bacterial disease.

6. How is it that a person can be infected with a virus such as HIV and not exhibit any symptoms?

It can take a while for the HIV virus to kill all of your helper T cells because the helper T cells try to reproduce, but HIV reproduces faster.