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Are Viruses Alive Organisms?

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The qualifications all biotic beings meet are not met by viruses on the grounds that there is a lot that a virus is unable to do. A virion cannot maintain homeostasis, or regulate its internal processes because it does not have the anatomy to do so, simply because a virus is not made up of cells. A virion is, fundamentally, genetic material trapped in a protein casing. It cannot grow because when it is duplicated in a cell it is exploiting, it comes out as the state it will always be in. Additionally, they have not been found to react to stimuli because they rely on a host so that it may replicate its genetic material. When isolated, viruses do not respond to anything, meaning that a virus needs a host to perform any functions. As a result of all of this, it can be strongly argued that viruses are abiotic.

Despite all of the things a virus cannot do, a virus can evolve. One of the most familiar viruses to exist is the infamous influenza. Biologists have recognized copious strains exist because the commonly appearing winter virus can and does modify itself a handful of times annually. This occurrence results in the yearly vaccine many people get for influenza mostly ineffective. The adaptations a virus undergoes is the central reason why many argue that they are living.

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Reproduction and management of energy are two operations that might be included in the ability of viruses based off of how loosely one would like to define both processes. A recurring point in the assertion viruses to be known as non-living is their reliance on actual cells to fulfill their purpose. It is true that a virion replicates its genes to pass off to offspring; however, every virus is needing a cell to do just that. It is neither asexual nor sexual, and as a consequence cannot be indexed as reproduction. There is energy is used when a virus completes the course of replicating its genes. Yet again, the energy has not been found to be originating from the virion, but the actual organism. Viruses are entirely contingent on hosts to function as viruses do.

Six common components are shared wall to wall by all organisms. As it is known today, scientists have recorded adaptations in viruses. Viruses technically cannot and does not attain and handle energy, reproduce, mature or develop, rectify internal operations, and be found in cells. Due to the many reasons that scientists have argued for viruses never retaining life, it can be reasonably deduced that this case is true.

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Are Viruses Alive Organisms? (2022, February 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 4, 2023, from
“Are Viruses Alive Organisms?” Edubirdie, 21 Feb. 2022,
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Are Viruses Alive Organisms? [Internet] Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 21 [cited 2023 Feb 4]. Available from:
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