Tuesday, October 21, 2014   |   3,891 users online
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos  ·  Chat
Find: in

Are viruses actual living creatures ?


Posted on Sunday, 17 March, 2013 | Comment icon 22 comments | News tip by: Still Waters


Image credit: sxc.hu

 
A newly discovered virus has reignited the debate over the classification of viruses as living creatures.

In order to qualify as a "living creature" the organism must have a genome, be able to grow, replicate and to evolve by adapting to its environment over successive generations. Viruses are generally considered to be primitive particles of DNA and do not meet these criteria, but new research in to a virus that can steal its host's immune system has turned this idea on its head.

Humans and other living creatures possess an adaptive immune system, capable of developing defenses and passing these down to successive generations of cells. The discovery of such a system present in a virus has greyed the area between "biological entity" and "living creature" and is likely to fuel further debate on the subject for years to come.

"For a long time, scientists have deemed viruses, which are little packages of infective material that can only replicate inside living organisms, to be primitive particles of DNA and RNA, termed a “biological entity."

  View: Full article |  Source: Discover Magazine

  Discuss: View comments (22)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #13 Posted by FlyingAngel on 18 March, 2013, 18:31
As when all humans and countries drop their weapons and start to shake hands, the Earth will be a harmonic living creature.
Comment icon #14 Posted by .Betta on 19 March, 2013, 4:55
Of course viruses are living things lol
Comment icon #15 Posted by Chooky88 on 19 March, 2013, 10:00
I had this argument with my Biology teacher in 1984. It's alive because it reproduces and reacts to external stimuli . just because it doesn't have the qualities of other organisms such as bacteria doesn't mean we have the right to say it's not a living thing. And I'll e-slap anyone who says fire qualifies as living as it consumes oxygen, reproduces and reacts to external stimuli. Teacher said that and I almost slapped him!
Comment icon #16 Posted by The New Richard Nixon on 19 March, 2013, 10:28
They are concdiered to be neither living nor dead
Comment icon #17 Posted by EllJay on 19 March, 2013, 10:47
Can they be reasoned with? Call for truce and offer a bribe?
Comment icon #18 Posted by J. K. on 19 March, 2013, 16:09
When I was five years old, I was convinced that fire was alive. Two houses in my neighborhood burned down, and I just knew that it was after me next.
Comment icon #19 Posted by third_eye on 19 March, 2013, 19:00
they are uncomfortable calling 'virus' "Living Creatures" because that would make "Viruses" Immortal they feel more comfort with viruses not living so viruses not dying doesn't matter
Comment icon #20 Posted by DieChecker on 19 March, 2013, 19:44
Undead?
Comment icon #21 Posted by The Skater Boy on 19 March, 2013, 19:45
Of course they are. To suggest they're not is as ludicrous as scientists claiming animals have no emotions or personalities like we do.
Comment icon #22 Posted by Sundew on 21 March, 2013, 17:45
Living or not, to be or not to be? Many parisites are simple compared with their free-living relatives. Worms that live in the gut may not posess a digestive system, absorbing nutrients by osmosis as it were. While similar species that live in water or soil have a fully functional digestive system. So the question my be: are viruses degenerate organisms reduced to such a simple state that the require a living cell to reproduce? Perhaps they were once more complex, akin to bacteria or other simple life, but over time only parasitic forms survived. These are very complex little bundles of DNA an... [More]


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


Other news in this category
Physicists develop working tractor beam
Posted 10-20-2014 | 8 comments
The remarkable new technology is capable of pushing or pulling solid objects using nothing but lasers....
 
Has Earth entered the Anthropocene epoch ?
Posted 10-18-2014 | 32 comments
Scientists have been debating whether the Holocene epoch should now give way to the Anthropocene....
 
Lockheed claims fusion energy breakthrough
Posted 10-16-2014 | 23 comments
The technology giant has announced that it has developed a miniature 100MW nuclear fusion reactor....
 
New battery can recharge within two minutes
Posted 10-14-2014 | 13 comments
Researchers in Singapore have come up with a battery that can recharge within the space of a few minutes....
 
Ebola-killing robots zap viruses in hospitals
Posted 10-12-2014 | 7 comments
A sophisticated new robot is battling viruses and bacteria in hospitals across the United States....
 
Antarctic sea ice hits record high levels
Posted 10-10-2014 | 22 comments
Far from disappearing, sea ice surrounding the Antarctic continent has been increasing in recent years....
 
Why are we not all the same height ?
Posted 10-7-2014 | 12 comments
Scientists have been attempting to identify the specific factors that influence how tall we are....
 
Drone captures amazing volcano footage
Posted 10-5-2014 | 3 comments
A drone fitted with a high quality camera has ventured in to the fiery heart of a volcano in Iceland....
 
World's first womb transplant baby is born
Posted 10-4-2014 | 18 comments
A woman in Sweden has given birth using a womb she received in a pioneering transplant operation....
 
Thousands of mountains found on ocean floor
Posted 10-4-2014 | 2 comments
A new mapping project has revealed the terrain at the bottom of the sea in unprecedented detail....
 
Crystals could enable underwater breathing
Posted 10-3-2014 | 28 comments
A remarkable new type of crystal is capable of absorbing all the oxygen from the air or water around it....
 

 View: More news in this category
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.6 Unexplained-Mysteries.com © 2001-2014
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ