What is a virus?
A virus reproduces inside the cells of living hosts, a host cell is forced to produce thousands of identical copies of the original virus.
Viruses consist of nucleic acid and a protein coat.
Usually the nucleic acid is RNA; sometimes it is DNA. ...
Viruses are much smaller than bacteria.
They lack the means for self-reproduction outside a host cell and are therefore generally not considered to be true living organisms.
Without a host cell, viruses cannot carry out their life-sustaining functions or reproduce.
They cannot synthesize proteins, because they lack ribosomes and must use the ribosomes of their host cells to translate viral messenger RNA into viral proteins.
Viruses cannot generate or store energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), but have to derive their energy, and all other metabolic functions, from the host cell. They also parasitize the cell for basic building materials, such as amino acids, nucleotides, and lipids (fats).
All viruses contain nucleic acid, either DNA or RNA (but not both), and a protein coat, which encases the nucleic acid. Some viruses are also enclosed by an envelope of fat and protein molecules.
Author: Jazmin Gannon
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