Viruses are submicroscopic, which means that you cannot see them in the microscope. What’s interesting about viruses is that they have two or three components. Starting from the inside, you will have a nucleic acid, which can be either RNA or DNA, and in both cases the nucleic acid can be either single-stranded or double-stranded. Then surrounding the nucleic acid will be a protein coat that’s in the form of capsid, or little small units that are assembled in a certain way. That is what all viruses have. Now, some viruses will also have an envelope which they obtain as they emerge from the cell. Viruses are very interesting in that they can only survive inside a living cell. So they must have a living cell in order to survive and replicate. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses, but vaccines are, as well as some antivirals.
Bettie J. Graham, Ph.D.
Hint: Let’s first define life. According to the online Merriam-Webster Dictionary, life is “an organismic state characterized by capacity for metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli, and reproduction.” Viruses on their own can do nothing until they enter a living cell. Without cells, viruses would not be able to multiply. Therefore, viruses are not living things. https://www.virology.ws/2004/06/09/are-viruses-liv…
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