A Mooching Virus

Viruses are very manipulative.  They aren’t actually living organisms, they use other organisms’ qualities in order to reproduce themselves and spread around.  Think of a person mooching off of you by living in your house, eating your food, and not helping out around the house because they do whatever they want all day instead of earning their keep.  The person is taking advantage of you and is sort of like virus.

But how do viruses first enter into cells?  There is a thing on a virus called a “phage” that is a specialized tail of external proteins capped with a capsid head that injects the virus’ DNA into the host cell.  The virus also uses the help of external proteins to get its genes inside of a cell.  In the Lytic (lytus meaning breaking something up) cycle of a viruses function the virus’ DNA gets combined with the healthy cell’s DNA and then the lysosomes destroy the plasma membrane which will enable the virus to spread.  In the Lysogenic cycle the virus genome is incorporated into the bacterial genome and is silently replicated and waits for future signals to activate the virus to get to work in the lytic cycle.

To get rid of a virus you must put up your defenses and prepare to fight.  When you cough or blow your nose that is part of your body’s defense mechanism trying to get rid of the virus or cold.

What relief it is when you finally get rid of those pesky viruses (and mooching people too)!

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