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Viruses1 - Viruses General Characteristics of Viruses...

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Viruses General Characteristics of Viruses Structure Because most viruses are extremely well adapted to their host organism, virus structure varies greatly. However, there are some general structural characteristics that all viruses share. Figure %: General virus structure All viruses have a capsid or head region that contains its genetic material. The capsid is made of proteins and glycoproteins. Capsid contruction varies greatly among viruses, with most being specialized for a particular virus's host organism. Some viruses, mostly of the type infecting animals, have a membranous envelope surrounding their capsid. This allows viruses to penetrate host cells through membrane fusion. The virus's genetical material rests inside the capsid; that material can be either DNA, RNA, or even in some cases a limited number of enzymes. The type of genetic material a virus contains is used in classification, and is discussed in Virus Classification .
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