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Are Viruses Alive?


The question of whether viruses are living or not always provokes lively discussion. An informal poll of blog’s readers on this issue is located in the sidebar on the right side of the screen or available also for discussion here.

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Categories: Virology
  1. wobsy
    January 13, 2012 at 13:46

    It’s an interesting question but does it matter, really? They do what they do, whether they’re alive or not.
    Rob.

  2. January 13, 2012 at 15:39

    It is interesting. And you are right, it doesn’t really matter, whether they’re alive or not. But I was just curious what others think about that. It really depends on your view on life. How do you define life and living.
    To some people (usually virologists) answer to this question really matters and to some not.

  3. wobsy
    January 13, 2012 at 16:39

    I generally take the view, if it can reproduce, it’s alive. I suppose you could argue that a virus doesn’t reproduce, it makes its host reproduce it?

  4. Brittany
    August 20, 2014 at 21:49

    Technically the discussion can go either way. Viruses however can not divide like cells can. They do not respond. BUT, they have working parts. They contain either DNA or RNA. However, not both.

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