Classification and Evolution of Life

Essay by toyaplayUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, April 2005

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1. Argue for or against the statement, "Viruses are alive." Comment on other postings.

2. The internal structure of many protists is much more complex than that of

cells of multicellular organisms.

3. Does this mean that the protist is engaged in more complex activities than the multicellular organism?

4. If not, why should the protistan cell be much more complicated?

Some scientists argue that the virus is lifeless. On the other hand, other scientists argue that viruses are life forms and should be classified into a kingdom. However, many scientists have agreed that things must have seven characteristics of life to be considered alive. The characteristics of life are all living things are composed of cells; all organisms are organized at cellular and molecular levels, energy use, and response to the environment, growth, reproduction, and adaptation.

From research and observation, scientists have found that vi-ruses can perform some of the life processes.

They found that viruses have organization, the ability to re-produce, and adaptations. First, they found that viruses are generally organized and composed of a nucleic acid core, either RNA or DNA, surrounded by protein. Next, they found that viruses could reproduce. It does not reproduce by sexual or asexual production, but by injecting its genetic material into the nucleus of a living cell. Finally, they found out that viruses have adaptations. They have the ability to mutate into different strains to resist man-made drugs. So, my answer would be no. A virus can not make more of itself, or multiply, without help from the contents of living cells. Viruses are obligatory intracellular parasites. Viruses are assembled from a number of components that have been produced by the hijacked host cell - once assembled they don't continue to grow. A virus also relies entirely upon the host cell's...

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