Living things share 8 characteristics (listed in Chapter 1 of your textbook on page 19). A living thing grows, undergoes metabolism, responds to its environment, reproduces, passes DNA to the next generation, maintains homeostasis, changes over time, and is made up of cells. A non-living thing may seem to do one or more of these things, but to be classified as living; all eight characteristics must be present. Sometimes, you may see something that seems alive but is not. Though you can’t see it, you have likely experienced it; one of those things is a virus.
Answer BOTH of the following questions:
- Using all 8 of the characteristics that define life, indicate which one(s) viruses have and which one(s) they do not, and explain each difference.
- With these results, present an argument that a virus is a living thing. Then, present the opposite argument that viruses are not alive.
Review the following videos to understand what viruses are and how they work:
Reading these discussions may help you to form your arguments on the status of viruses:
- Are Viruses Alive?
- Are Viruses Alive? Although Viruses Challenge Our Concept of What “Living” Means, They Are Vital Members of the Web of Life
Follow these guidelines for your paper:
- Utilize at least 1 credible source to support the arguments presented in the paper. Make sure you cite appropriately within your paper, and list the reference(s) in APA format on your Reference page.
- Your paper should be 1–2 pages in length, not counting the Title page and Reference page.
NPR. (2009, October 23). Flu attack! How a virus invades your body | Krulwich wonders | NPR [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rpj0emEGShQ
Rice, G. (n.d.). Are viruses alive? Retrieved from https://serc.carleton.edu/microbelife/yellowstone/viruslive.html
Villarreal, V. (2008). Are viruses alive? Although viruses challenge our concept of what “living” means, they are vital members of the web of life. Retrieved from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/are-viruses-alive-2004/
WinchPharmaGroup. (2015, March 9). What is a virus? How do viruses work? [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KXHwhTghWI