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Bacteria, Viruses, and Prions

Powerful Essays
Viruses, bacteria, and prions differ in many ways. There are also multiple similarities between them. First off, how much do you know about viruses?
Viruses have various shapes: spheres, rods, or spirals. Viruses have either DNA or RNA, but not both, a protein coat that incases the nucleic acid, and some even have a nuclear envelope. Sometimes viruses have spikes that they use to attach onto their host. Viruses undergo the lytic and lysogenic cycles when they reproduce. The lytic cycle goes through five stages: attachment, penetration, biosynthesis, maturation, and release. According to Essentials of Biology, “During attachment the capsid combines with a receptor in the bacterial cell wall. During penetration, a viral enzyme digests away part of the cell wall, and viral DNA is injected into the bacterial cell. Biosynthesis of viral components begins after the virus inactivates host genes not necessary to viral replication. The machinery of the host cell then carries out viral DNA replication and production of multiple copies of the capsid protein subunits. During maturation, viral DNA and capsids assemble to produce several hundred viral particles. Lysozyme, an enzyme coded for by a viral gene, disrupts the cell wall, and release of phage particles occurs. The bacterial cell dies as a result.” The lysogenic cycle is the same process, except for it has a dormant period known as integration. The phage is latent and not actively reproducing. A disease caused by viruses could include influenza. Influenza is commonly known as the flu. Influenza is spread by contact with another person who has the virus. It can also survive on surfaces for a short period, and if contracted by another person it can enter the nasal passage and can infec...

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