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. What biological differences between viruses and cellular organisms have made viruses be deemed non-living?
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2answers
328 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 ...
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2answers
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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
258 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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2answers
6k 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.
4
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4answers
194 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
9k 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?