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Question:
How do viruses form?



Replies:
Well, I'll assume you mean how they replicate, since they do not (as far as we know) arise from inorganic materials. Viruses are generally thought of as obligate parasites -- that is, they need the assistance of another organism for their survival. Depending on the type of virus you're looking at you'll see many different ways of accomplishing the same goal -- reproduction. In very general terms, then, a virus will attach itself to an appropriate host cell and insert it's genetic code into the DNA of the host, which then goes thorough it's normal routine of reading through its own code to synthesize proteins and enzymes, and in the process inadvertently replicates the strand of viral DNA (or RNA, depending), which codes for its own proteins and concentrates within the cell. At some point, the cell will not be able to support that many viral particles within it's membrane, and it will die, releasing thousands of new viral particles into the environment to do the dirty deed all over again.

--WORDSWORTH



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