Lecture 3 - Introduction to Viruses

Lecture 3 - Introduction to Viruses - Introduction to...

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1 Introduction to Viruses Norwalk virus T4 bacteriophage Ebola virus Viruses are submicroscopic genetic elements containing either DNA or RNA, surrounded by a protein coat and capable of replicating within living cells. Viruses are characterized by having an extracellular state.
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2 Are viruses alive? • An isolated virus is metabolically inert. It cannot carry out protein synthesis, produce or utilize energy, grow, etc. • Viruses can only replicate when they are inside living cells and are using the cells’ synthetic machinery, raw materials, and energy. Viruses: • individual virus particles are too small to be seen with even the best light microscopes • multiply only in living cells; they cannot reproduce independently of the host cells • take over cellular functions and induce infected cells to produce more virus particles • process of virus replication drastically alters metabolism of the host cells
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3 Virus Size Individual virus particles can only be seen with the electron microscope. Fig. 6.1 Virus structure • Viruses contain DNA or RNA as genetic material.
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This note was uploaded on 03/26/2008 for the course MICROBIOLO 201 taught by Professor Edwardbraun during the Spring '07 term at Iowa State.

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Lecture 3 - Introduction to Viruses - Introduction to...

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