Viruses VS Cells

By Kaitlynn Wetchensky

Characteristics of Life

Living things can grow and develop-Viruses do not neccesarily develop

Living things are based off of a universal genetic code-Viruses do have DNA/RNA

Living things respond to an environment-Viruses do not move

Living things reproduce-Viruses cannot reproduce without a host cell

Living things are made of cells-Viruses are not made of cells

Living things use energy-Viruses do not eat

Living things, as a group evolve-Viruses can evolve through mutation

Living things can maintain an internal balance-Viruses are fairly balanced


  1. Describe the typical structure of a virus. What biomolecules are found in a virus? A virus usually has DNA/RNA with a couple of enzymes in the very center. There's a protein based layer surrounding that called the capsid and sometimes there's another lipid based layer surrounding that called the envelope, therefore you have nucleic acids, proteins, and sometimes lipids.
  2. Describe the different ways viruses can gain access into a cell. A viruses can gain access into the cell by either attaching itself and injecting its DNA or acting like it is supposed to be in the cell like a Trojan horse kind of situation.
  3. Explain why an Ebola cell would not infect a Tabacco plant. A virus is very specific to what cell it can infect. Animal viruses can only infect animals, plant viruses can only infect plants, so on and so forth.
  4. Name five different viruses and what cells they attack. Polio attacks body cells, shingles/chicken pox infects skin cells, HPV infects skin cells, rabies attacks body cells, and Ebola attacks brain cells.
  5. You have just been diagnosed with the flu, explain why your doctor wouldn't prescribe you antibiotics. If your doctor just gave you antibiotics you could easily obtain the disease again and eventually it was become more and more immune to the antibiotics. It would be much, much more effective if you got a vaccine.
  6. How is it a person could have a disease such as HIV and not have symptoms? Explain. Their immune system could not have as much as a reactive response to the disease as other people's do.

Lysogenic and Lytic Cycle

Bacteriophage tends to use the Lytic Cycle while Proviruses use the Lysogenic Cycle.