20 BISC 120_Chapter 19 VIRUSES POST

20 BISC 120_Chapter 19 VIRUSES POST - Fig 19-1 Chapter 19...

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10/8/2010 1 Chapter 19 VIRUSES Mobile genetic elements Fig. 19-1 0.5 μm Viruses Infectious particles consisting of nucleic acid enclosed in protein coat & sometimes a membranous envelope Obligate intracellular parasites Use genetics to take over of a cell But are they alive? Viruses: Are they alive? A debated issue Employ DNA or RNA (single or double stranded) Contain proteins Reproduce but not without use of host cells’ genetic machinery One virus may produce protein coated tails without host Evolve in response to their environment (influenza, H5N1avian , H1N1swine) Some can be crystallized! “A borrowed life”
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