Viruses: The Kingdom That Isn’t By: Theodore DeForest Lloyd Trautman Graham William Jenkins I Samuel Montgomery Berman, esq.
Viruses: A Brief Introduction Viruses are not alive. They are not made up of cells, and do not perform any life functions such as respiration and reproduction. They don’t belong to any of the five kingdoms of life.
Structure Shown to the left is a typical virus. It has an inner core with the genetic material inside. Surrounding the genetic material is a shell known as the capsid. Together, the DNA and capsid form a nucleocapsid. Occasionally, there is a 3 rd shell known as the envelope which protects the virus a little more. The spikes let the virus bond to a cell’s receptor sites.
Feeding Viruses do not have to feed and take in energy. They are not living organisms, and do not perform cellular respiration
Replication Viruses do not reproduce. They are not living things. Viruses replicate instead. 1.The antigens on the spikes of the virus match up with a cell’s receptor site, after sending a message and making the cell believe that the virus is not an invader. 2.The virus inserts its genetic material into the cell. 3.The DNA replicates and is assembled by the nucleus. 4.Finally, the assembled viruses break free, ready to wreak havoc upon the civilized world.
Different Viruses Viruses are classified by their shape. There are Icosahedral, Helical and Bacteriophage viruses Examples of these viruses are in the photo gallery.
Virus Gallery A typical bacteriophage. The HIV virus. HIV is an example of an Icosahedral virus. The Influenza Virus is an excellent example of a helical virus. Rabies is another type of helical virus.