5 Reasons Viruses are considered living  or non living


The virus is a microscopic infectious agent that replicates its genetic material using a process known as ‘infection’. Viruses are tiny infectious agents that infect living cells. They are the most diminutive known forms of life on earth and can be found in many organisms, including plants, animals, and humans.

The word “virus” was coined by Robert Koch (1843-1910). Viruses consider borderline between living and nonliving organisms because they have dual nature, some character shows that viruses are living, but some show that virus is nonliving. Further below we discuss the 5 Reasons Viruses are considered living or non-living.

The purpose of viruses is to reproduce themselves by entering a cell and hijacking its machinery so that they can make copies of their genetic material. This process is called “infection” or “replication”. Viruses have no true nucleus but have a double-layered protein coat surrounding their DNA which protects them from being destroyed by the immune system and other cellular defenses (e.g., antibodies).

They are classified into two groups: RNA viruses and DNA viruses. The former group includes polio, measles, mumps, and rubella virus; whereas the latter group includes HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B, and C viruses. The term ‘virus’ is derived from the Latin word meaning ‘to creep or crawl.

Human Coronavirus Structure
Fig : Human Coronavirus Structure-min

5 Reasons Viruses are considered living  or non-living

Living Characters

  • They multiply or reproduce inside the host cell.
  • They have their genetic material made up of nucleic acid, either DNA or RNA.
  • They show responses toward stimuli like light, heat, and temperature.
  • They can cause diseases and infect living organisms plants, animals, and other microorganisms.
  • They can undergo mutation.

Non-Living Characters

  •  They lack metabolic machinery outside the living cells.
  • They lack cellular organization. Once they infect a cell, they take over the host cell’s machinery to replicate themselves.
  • They lack ribosomes and cellular enzymes necessary for nucleic acid and protein synthesis.
  • They don’t show cell division, growth, development, nutrition, etc.
  • We can crystallize them.
  • They don’t contain both RNA and DNA together.


The virus is an infectious submicroscopic irresistible operator that recreates simply inside the living cells of a life form. Infections can contaminate a wide range of living things, from creatures and plants to microorganisms, including microscopic organisms and Archaea.

A German engineer took the first images of viruses upon the invention of the electron microscope in 1931. The origin of viruses is unclear because they do not form fossils, so molecular techniques are used to investigate how they arose.


Viruses are found in almost every biological system on Earth and are the most various sorts of natural entities. The investigation of infections is known as virology, a superficiality of microbiology.

Viruses as a source and cause of disease in a living organism 

On the level when contaminated, a host cell is compelled to quickly deliver many indistinguishable duplicates of the first infection. When not inside a tainted cell or during the time spent contaminating a phone, infections exist as autonomous particles, or virions, comprising the hereditary materials, for example,

  • Long atoms of DNA or RNA encode the structure of the proteins by which the infection is demonstrated.
  • A protein coat, the capsid, encompasses and secures hereditary materials.
  • An outside envelope of lipids.

The states of those infection particles extend from basic helical and icosahedral structures to increasingly advanced structures. Most infection species have virions too little to even consider being seen with an optical magnifying instrument, as they are one hundredth the size of most microscopic organisms.

How Viruses are important in biology?

Viruses are important in biology because they carry genes and have a role in the evolution of all living organisms. Viruses can be beneficial or harmful to their hosts, depending on the type and whether it is a good or bad virus. A good virus will help its host grow faster and reproduce more, while a bad virus will cause diseases that kill off its host.

References and Sources

  • https://www.genome.gov/genetics-glossary/Virus
  • https://microbiologysociety.org/why-microbiology-matters/what-is-microbiology/viruses.html

Share on:

Leave a Comment