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Give the general characters of viruses.

Last updated date: 20th Jun 2024
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Hint: Viruses are the smallest of all the microbes. Viruses act like a bridge between living and nonliving. They either contain DNA or RNA as the genetic material, but never both. The genetic material may either be single or double stranded. Let us know more about viruses.

Complete answer:
They are nucleo-proteinaceous acellular entities.
They don’t have their own metabolism and can only replicate inside a host.
Viruses have an inner core of nucleic acid surrounded by a protein coat known as an envelope.
Viruses infect all types of life forms, from animals and plants to microorganisms.
Viruses can be observed only under the electron microscope.
They are 10 to 100 times smaller than bacteria and its size ranges from 20 to 300 nm so these viruses can pass easily through bacteriological filters. They are filterable.
Viruses cannot make energy or proteins independent of a host cell.
Most viruses infect only specific types of cells in one host.
Viruses can undergo Mutation.
They get destroyed by Ultraviolet rays.
The viruses cannot be grown in artificial media.
They can live only in living cells.
They can be crystallized like chemical substances.
They can be sedimented like proteins.
They can respond to stimuli such as acids, alkalies, light and temperature.

Viruses are acellular organisms. They are obligate intracellular parasites. They exhibit both living and nonliving character and are infectious particles and attack plants and animals both, have either DNA or RNA. So they are called ‘Organisms at the edge of life.’