A virus is a small infectious agent that can replicate only inside the living cells of an organism. Virology is the study of viruses.

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Why isn't a virus “alive”?

The recent news about a new supermassive virus being discovered got me thinking about how we define viruses as non-living organisms whilst they are bigger than bacteria, and much more complex than we ...
3
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2answers
343 views

Changing the definition of life?

Viruses at this period of time do not fit the current definition of life. Much of the reasoning behind this is that we currently believe that all life must be made up of cells. Also, many ...
16
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2answers
9k views

Why don't we develop immunity against common cold?

We all suffer from common cold, and that, frequently. Why have we not developed immunity against it till now? By immunity I mean immunity as a species.
11
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5answers
361 views

Why have parasites not evolved to be harmless?

I have yet to understand why so many viruses or bacteria haven't evolved to be harmless (specifically, I don't know of any harmless virus). I think it would be greatly beneficial for a virus to ...
8
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2answers
2k views

How does the ebola virus attack?

How does the ebola virus attack and how do some people get away with it? Normally any virus would attack a cell with some kind of receptors and some kind of lock and key mechanism entering the cell ...
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4answers
702 views

How does HIV mutate into other strains while keeping their virulent phenotype?

How does a virus like HIV mutate into so many strains, and yet all of them are harmful to our immune system? What gives this virus the ability to mutate so efficiently?
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Why doesn't blood remain on a mosquito's proboscis in quantities that could spread blood-borne diseases?

We know that HIV can't be transmitted by mosquitos, and nor can other highly virulent viruses that are transmitted through blood and bodily fluid exchanges, such as Ebola (thankfully!). Marcus Junius ...
4
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4answers
218 views

Theoretically, what technique would one use to modify a virus so that it only affected a subset of the population?

I'm writing a novel and i would like to know some of the equipment and techniques involved with modifying a virus. Is it feasible for a virus to be engineered to only affect certain people? It ...
4
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2answers
13k views

Why does rabies cause hydrophobia?

What feature of rabies pathophysiology causes hydrophobia? Why is hydrophobia unique to this one particular type of viral infection?
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2answers
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How long do viruses, such as Zika, stay in the body?

Can a virus stay in your body (after recovery) in a concentration that is sufficient to infect someone? Is it known how long the Zika virus persists in the body?
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1answer
38 views

Are there viruses that show definite enzymatic activity? [closed]

Perhaps due to outer coat protein individually or collectively.