Is a virus a form of life?

When it comes to the argument, “ is a virus a life form?” there are many debates and opinions but I have found reasons why a virus wouldn't be considered a living thing. Viruses depend on a host cell, without this it cannot reproduce. It lacks key components to be a form of life, while it can be a deadly thing it still needs the help of cells to grow and spread. There are said to be seven characteristics of life, to be considered living which a virus fails when it comes to the test. For these reasons, and to the best of my knowledge a virus is not a form of life. Geggel explains that it takes seven things to be alive “According to the seven characteristics of life, all living beings must be able to respond to stimuli; grow over time; produce offspring; maintain a stable body temperature; metabolize energy; consist of one or more cells; and adapt to their environment.” which a virus does not. She goes on to talk about how viruses are not a form of life because they depend on other things to grow and be active such as cells. If a virus doesn’t have these key components then it is not able to be considered living, a virus is a dependent. Port explains the key things one needs to be considered a living thing and how when it comes to a virus, it would fail to be thought of as a form of life. “In order to replicate, viruses must first hijack the reproductive equipment of a host cell, redirecting it to ‘photocopy’ the genetic code of the virus and seal it inside a newly formed container, known as the capsid.” For these reasons, a virus would not be a form of life. In order for a virus to be a form of life, it would need to reproduce which it is unable to do on its own. A virus cannot work its way and make its course without needing to rely on a cell host. Hogan explains why viruses are considered “on the edge of life” they can perform many processes found in similar organisms but lack one key component to a genuine organism, replication. Viruses depend upon a host organism for this process of replication. Understanding the reasons behind why viruses are in a grey area in the scientific field is crucial because they can be very harmful. Another example would be that viruses do not need to consume energy to survive. For these reasons and examples, a virus would not be considered a form of life. Based on the fact that it lacks key components to be living and being dependant on hosts to grow. While not being a form of life they’re harmful and need to be taken care of so that while taking its course you’re prepared. When I began research for this essay I first thought that yes, it is a form of life how not, but then I realized my hypothesis was wrong. For something to be living or a form of life; it needs to fall under a certain category which in this case, the argument “ is a virus a form of life” falls under the bus. Cited sources: C Michael Hogan (Lead Author); Sidney Draggan Ph.D. (Topic Editor) "Virus". In: Encyclopedia of Earth. Eds. Cutler J. Cleveland (Washington, D.C.: Environmental Information Coalition, National Council for Science and the Environment). [First published in the Encyclopedia of Earth May 12, 2010; Last revised Date December 30, 2010; Retrieved September 28, 2012. Encyclopedia of Earth geggel, laura. “Are Viruses Alive?” Https://Www.livescience.com/58018-Are-Viruses-Alive.html, 2017, www.livescience.com/58018-are-viruses-alive.html. Port, Jake. “Why Are Viruses Considered to Be Non-Living?” Cosmos, 13 Sept. 2017, cosmosmagazine.com/biology/why-are-viruses-considered-to-be-non-living.

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