Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Are viruses alive?
Name: Kim Michalek
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 


Question:
Are viruses living?



Replies:
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

Ellen Mayo



Click here to return to the Biology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory