Bacteria, Viruses and Prions

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We’ve all heard of viruses, bacteria and the diseases they can harm us with, but many of us haven’t even heard of prions and most people probably don’t know specific details about viruses or even bacteria for that matter. They’re all very interesting forms of organic matter, though. Bacteria are the only one of the three that are actually considered life forms 100%. The topic of whether or not viruses are to be considered an organism is very debatable in the world of microbiology, because they don’t actually have even a single cell, but they reproduce and have many other things in common with organisms. Prions on the other hand aren’t considered to be living at all, because all they are are malformed proteins that usually cause degenerative diseases that are extremely difficult to cure, if not utterly impossible. Bacteria are probably the most complex of the three in structure. The thousands of species of bacteria in the world have three different shapes: rod-shaped ones called, bacilli, ball-shaped ones called, cocci, and spiraled ones called spirillum. While that’s what they look like the actual structure is slightly more complex. Things that all bacteria have are: a cell wall to protect itself from the outside environment, plasma to hold all the internal structures it has, ribosomes to produce proteins, flagella to move around, a conjugation pilus to reproduce sexually rather than asexually, fimbriae to help them attach to surfaces, and like all other organisms, bacteria have deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA to provide information for protein formation and reproduction. Viruses on the other hand have relatively simple structures and can have as few as two different parts to make them up. They all are made up of a cap... ... middle of paper ... .../learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/molecules/prions/>. 6) "Cornell University." Binary Fission and other Forms of Reproduction in Bacteria. Cornell University, 1 Jan. 2014. Web. 21 Apr. 2014. . 7) Carter, J. Stein. "Bacterial Diseases." Bacterial Diseases. N.p., 16 Jan. 2014. Web. 21 Apr. 2014. . 8) "Symptoms." of the Flu. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, n.d. Web. 21 Apr. 2014. . 9) Gambetti, Dr. Pierluigi , Dr. Laura Manuelidis, and Dr. Stephen DeArmond. "Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Fact Sheet." : National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). N.p., 18 Apr. 2014. Web. 21 Apr. 2014. .

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