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 ...
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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 ...
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Did the Zika virus mutate?

The Zika virus was already present and known to the world (mostly in Southeast Asia) before the current outbreak. Why has the virus caused such an extreme outbreak? Has it mutated from its ...
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Can Biologists identify all viruses?

I went to the doctor today with my girlfriend, and the doctor said that she had a virus but doesn't know which one and she should let the infection heal with some rest. The fact that the doctor didn'...
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Could viruses be used as antibiotics?

Could we use viruses that only affect bacteria to act as antibiotics? The more bacteria, the more times the virus divides, so the stronger it gets. Is this practical?
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Is it known how the first viruses formed?

The oldest known virus is known to have infected prehistoric insects 300 million years ago. A virus is basically a parasitic strand if DNA or RNA encapsulated in a protein coat. It enters cells by "...
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Can the dead be brought back to life by viruses?

Zombies have been a part of popular culture for decades. The living dead rising up to take over the world is a terrifying concept, worthy of Hollywood blockbusters and television hits. Some of those ...
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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.
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What do viruses do during incubation period?

For example, there is an incubation period of around 1 to 3 days for common cold, and that of AIDS can range over to decades. What do viruses do actually do during the incubation period? What ...
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Why does immunity from the flu vaccine appear only after two weeks?

It is said that immunity from a flu vaccine appears after about two weeks. However, from experience, the flu usually lasts only a few days. If sufficient antibodies appear only after two weeks ...
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How are viruses weakened to be suitable for vaccination?

I understand there are two kinds of active vaccination Injecting complete viruses that are weakened to not cause the disease being vaccinated against Injecting only antigen particles of viruses that ...
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5answers
387 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 ...
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How long does the Ebola virus remain infectious on contaminated items or surfaces?

I'm sure there will be variation depending on what the contaminated item or surface is made of - linens, I could imagine, would remain dangerous for longer than a door-knob. But if the items are not ...
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Is there a period after you have had a cold when you cannot get a cold again?

I always assumed colds ran on a 'no tagbacks' principle: once it's out of your system, it takes a while before you can get a cold again. Is there any truth to this, or can rhinoviruses hit you at any ...
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1answer
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Why are people unable to develop lasting immunity against Norovirus?

Infection with many viruses will result in decades-long if not lifetime immunity, for example chicken pox. Because of the large number of viruses responsible for the common cold, lifelong immunity to ...
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1answer
102 views

What is the difference between influenza A and B viruses that causes their distinct seasonal patterns?

I recently learned from an answer at health.SE* that influenza B tends to occur later in the season compared to influenza A. According to the graph in that answer, during this year’s flu season the ...
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5answers
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Is there an 'anti-virus'?

A virus spreads around and usually attaches itself to the host, multiplies & causes diseases. But is there something like an anti-virus? A single celled entity that does the opposite: spreads ...
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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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1answer
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What about a bat's immune system protects them from Ebola?

Current evidence indicates that fruit bats are a reservoir host for Ebola. Has any research established what is different about their cell biology or immune system that reduces virulence for them? ...
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1answer
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How the conjunctivitis virus spread just by seeing a person's eye who is infected

Conjunctivitis or 'pink eye'. I have a few questions on conjunctivitis. When I was suffering from conjunctivitis, my doctor advised me to wear sunglasses so that no one else gets infected. I wonder ...
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1answer
623 views

Ebola: cleaning of protective suit

As far as I know, in developed countries protection suits used by people who treat patients with Ebola are disposed of after a shift. From a rather ambitious costume last year, I still have a hazmat ...
6
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1answer
185 views

What are the positive effects of wrongful antibiotic use on a viral infection?

I categorically accept that bacteria differ from viruses; so antibiotics DON'T help in viral infections. I also read this and this; so no need to explain this. I've read about the negative effects (eg ...
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1answer
230 views

Is there any virus that contains both DNA and RNA in its genome?

It is known that viruses contain DNA or RNA- either one and not both. I came across a question: Which virus contains both DNA and RNA?
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1answer
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Is Zika suspected of causing birth defects only if contracted during pregnancy?

There seems to be growing evidence that a recently spreading strain of Zika virus is in fact linked to microencephaly and other birth defects in newborns (see here, here, and here for examples). I ...
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1answer
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Healing rate of cut while suffering from a cold

I recently cut my finger fairly deeply with a box cutter and had to have it stitched. During the healing process I contracted a strong cold/mild flu (a sore throat and runny nose with a high fever, ...
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4answers
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What is the advantage of restriction enzymes cutting only at specific sites?

Bacteriophages have sequences which often do not have specific sites for restriction enzymes of bacteria to cut at and so can attack the bacteria. Wouldn't it be better if bacteria had something "...
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1answer
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How do wild animals get rabies?

I can see the chain of spreading disease: Humans usually get rabies from domestic animals, those usually get it from wild animals, wild animals in their turn get from the other wild animals and here I'...
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How does a virus reach its host, it is always passive? [closed]

We know that viruses are non motile and cannot metabolise, and that it enters the host cells via binding to the receptors. But how exactly it reaches the host (that is, how it go from the ...
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Is viral protein expression important for peptide vaccine?

I would like to know if proteins expressed in higher quantities, such as DNA polymerase, would be better vaccine candidates for a T-cell based vaccine.
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1answer
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Why don't warts caused by HPV spread to the whole body?

My son had a plantar wart on his foot, which (as I understand it) is caused by a virus which only infects skin cells. Once in the skin cell the virus replicates, but when attacked by the immune system ...
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2answers
259 views

Viruses: Adaptation to a new host through repeated host jumps

A friend told me, during a 3 minute discussion, that viruses that are endemic in host $A$ and make repeated jumps to host $B$ but can't be transmitted between individuals of species $B$, may slowly ...
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1answer
125 views

Can bacteria, viruses, and cancer cells be destroyed by resonance?

Radiotherapy has been used to treat cancer. Can the resonances by coordinated electromagnetic waves (and/or other forms of waves), of various frequencies, amplitudes and pulse rates, directed from ...
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Why do viruses last longer on hard surfaces than porous ones

All the papers I've read about survival of viruses outside of the host refer to longer survival times on hard surfaces without explaination. As a layman I would have thought that a virus (who's main ...
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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 doesn'...
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1answer
455 views

What do you call a virus when it's cured?

When a cure has been found for a virus, can it be called such anymore? Virus implies it's something you've contracted that you just have to live with until (hopefully) your body can overwhelm and ...
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333 views

Are viruses self-propelled?

So obviously, viruses are nonliving. But when my teacher was teaching viruses in the video (we're doing "flip" learning this semester), the way he described it, it seemed like the viruses responded to ...
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1answer
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Why can't we find a broad spectrum antiviral drug to viruses like antibiotics to bacteria?

Antibiotics have a very broad spectrum because they attack the metabolism pathways many bacteria share. For example, penicillin inhibits peptidoglycan synthesis, which is vital for formation of cell ...
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1answer
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How does a virus take control over the host cell?

When the virus integrates its DNA with the hosts and enters the lytic pathway, do the viral proteins that produced destroy the cells DNA? Do they deactivate it? Also does the cell function in the same ...
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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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1answer
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What is the number of influenza strains occurring at a given time?

My question was initiated by reading on mock-up influenza vaccines. I understand that the manufacturer pre-prepares a certain vaccine and tries to get it tested and ready before it is actually needed, ...
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1answer
85 views

Why is the ebola virus so intense now?

So i'm looking into the ebola crisis and it seems the death toll is really getting crazy. I understand that it's a cytomegalovirus and that it basically overwhelms the immune system due to it's size ...
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1answer
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Human Endogenous Retroviruses

I am reading this paper, which shows that a Human Endogenous Retrovirus (HERV) K provirus is present at the orthologous position of gorilla and chimpanzee genomes but absent in the human genome. If ...
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What are the secondary structure requirements for cell-penetrating peptides AKA protein transduction domains

Cell penetrating peptides. Cell penetrating peptides (CPPs) are a class of short amino acid sequences which are sufficient for crossing cell membranes and delivering themselves along with any ...
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2answers
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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 biologist/...
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What virus transforms full grown plants?

I read an article by a gardener describing how a virus had transmitted a negative trait to his plants. It rather shocked me, because I hadn't realized that a virus could transform an adult plant. I ...
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3answers
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Restriction endonucleases are found in?

Quoting from : Scientific American July 1975 The Manipulation of genes by Stanley Cohen : Restriction endonucleases (and modification methylases) are widespread in microorganisms; genes for ...
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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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How is RNA of retrovirus converted into cDNA?

The retrovirus (oncovirus) contains RNA. It also has a molecule called reverse transcriptase. This molecule transcribes RNA into cDNA. This cDNA is the DNA copy of viral RNA genome RNA has Uracil ...
3
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1answer
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At which temperature is the Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus destroyed?

At which temperature is the Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus destroyed? If there is no data specifically for TBEV, is there any data for typical temperatures at which other Flaviviruses / Flaviviridae / ...
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How did viruses learn to utilize the workings of a cell?

This is my first post here, so excuse me for its simplicity. Viruses can infiltrate a cell, overtake it and multiply. It has projecting fibers whose ends are shaped as kind of a "key" to a mobile ...