Bacteria, Viruses, and Prions

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There are many reasons why you should know the differences and similarities between viruses, bacteria, and prions. With this knowledge, you can determine how to make yourself feel better if you are sick, or how to prevent getting sick in the first place. This being said, there are many similarities and differences between these three. Prions are pathogens, and cause infections, like viruses. Prions cause many neurodegenerative diseases, but are made up of harmless proteins found in mammals and birds. The proteins are not in their normal form though, and once they enter the human brain, can cause severe brain infections. One thing that makes them different from viruses, is the lack of nucleic acids, which means they have no genetic code. Once in the brain, they make normal proteins turn into abnormal ones, which then multiply, causing severe infection. Soon, holes appear in the brain that can only be treated by incineration. An example of a disease caused by a prion would be the Mad Cow Disease, or the human equivalent Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease. Prions are very dangerous. While some people can confuse prions and viruses, there are some ways to tell the difference. Viruses are the simplest and tiniest of microbes, and are made up of proteins, nucleic acid, and lipids. The nucleic acids contain the genetic code that helps them grow and reproduce, but only once they find their way into a living organism. Viruses themselves are not considered living organisms because they don’t have cells, they don’t metabolize nutrients, produce and excrete wastes, and they can’t move around on their own. The remains of the nucleic acid then forms a covering, called the capsid. Once the capsid gets removed, viruses use the building materials of th... ... middle of paper ... ... it isn’t something worse. Now that you know the similarities and differences between viruses, prions and bacteria, you know how to help make yourself feel better if you get sick, or how to prevent sickness in the first place. Works Cited 1. "Difference Between." Difference Between RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2014. 2. "MicrobeWorld." Bacteria. American Center for Microbiology, 1 Jan. 2012. Web. 18 Apr. 2014. . 3. Nguyen, Bianca. "AP Biology/BN: Bacteria vs. Virus vs. Prion." AP Biology/BN: Bacteria vs. Virus vs. Prion. N.p., 16 Dec. 2011. Web. 18 Apr. 2014. . 4. "Difference Between." Difference Between RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2014. .

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