Introduction to Virus
Origin of Virus
Foundations of Virology
Characterisitics of Virus
In the future
CharActerisTics Of Virus
Virus are different than anything else found on earth and are mainly characterized by their size, shape, and half alive/half dead existence. The big difference between viruses and all else, is the fact that viruses are so small they cannot be viewed without the help of a electron microscope. Ths is because viruses are, on average, smaller than a regular wavelength of visible light. In effect, the viruses can hide between light waves, thus making them colourless. They can not be seen by the naked eye or regular microscope. Viruses are so small in fact, that the largest virus is equal in size to the smallest bacteria. The smallest virus measure only 20 nano meters in length. Because of their incredibly small size, viruses are extremely hard to study and understand
Shape is also a defining characteristc of viruses. The basic shape viruses tend to take are rods, filaments, crystals, helixes, polyhedrons and spheres, with added extensions. Almost all human viruses are close to being spherical. Every viruscarry proteins and nucleic acids in a protective coat. This protective membrane is called the capsid. Extensions on any virus are called antigens. The antigens allow viruses to identify, attack, and enter its target host. Viruses are not classifiablyalive or dead. They seem to in limbo between each state. Viruses exist this way because they are strictly parasites. That is, they can not survive and thrive without a hostor group of host cells. The hosts provide viruses with all the chemicals and molecues they need to survive and reproduce. You might think of viruses as robots that need to take over a factory to make more of themselves. Without that, the viruses are dormant.
Viruses can lie dormant within any host or environmant until the proper conditions for their activity are provided. THis is why we sometimes sat that viruses have incubation periods of certain lengths. Some viruses are also classified as 'persistent viruses'. such virus can enter and exit host cells withour killing them. Even so, each different virus is sitmulated by different conditions and they all have different, specific functions they affect in their host. They are known as dangerous and mysterious creatures.