Are viruses alive?
Name: Kim Michalek
Are viruses living?
There is a tremendous debate about this question - scientists do not agree
on the answer. Some people consider them to be just a bunch of chemicals. Other
people consider them to be living parasites, because they require the metabolic
machinery of host cells to survive. But they do reproduce, and they do have genetic
material, so many people consider them to be the simplest living organisms. Probably
the safest answer is that viruses have both living and nonliving characteristics.
Source: BIOLOGY, by Neil Campbell, third edition
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Update: June 2012