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Living thing or no living thing?
The vast majority of biologists and scientists believe that viruses are not living things. On the one hand, because a virus does not have its own metabolism. On the other hand, because it can not multiply without a foreign host cell. For viruses 'infiltrate' into other host cells and reprogram them so that only their own virus DNA is read and replicated, instead of the actual DNA of the cell.
In the end, it remains a matter of definition whether viruses are now classified as living beings. For both views, pros and cons arguments can be found. In the following, the virus and bacterium are tabulated:
Table: Comparison of bacteria and virus
|origin of name||Greek "bacterion" = chopsticks||lat. "Virus" = poison|
|Number of known species||about 7000 known species||about 5000 known species|
|Creature?||Creature||No living thing (Definition dependent!)|
|size||1 - 10 μm||0.02-0.2 μm|
|metabolism||Own metabolism||No own metabolism|
|proliferation||cell division||Made by the host cell|
|Caused diseases||Lyme disease, cholera, chlamydiosis, leprosy, malaria, anthrax, tetanus, typhus, tuberculosis, plague||AIDS / HIV, Ebola, Hepatitis C, herpes, influenza, measles, mumps, glandular fever, rubella, rabies|
|Effect of antibiotics||acts||does not work|
|Benefit for humans||integral part of the digestive system||no benefit|