VirusesTechnically, viruses are not members of the Monera kingdom. They are considered here because, like the bacteria, they are microscopic and cause human diseases. Viruses are acellular particles that lack the properties of living things but have the ability to replicate inside living cells. They have no energy metabolism, they do not grow, they produce no waste products, they do not respond to stimuli, and they do not reproduce independently. In the view of biologists, they are probably not alive. Viruses consist of a central core of either DNA or RNA surrounded by a coating of protein. The core of the virus that contains the genes is the genome, while the protein coating is the capsid. Viruses have characteristic shapes. Certain viruses have the shape of an icosahedron, a 20-sided figure made up of equilateral triangles. Other viruses have the shape of a
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