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A virus is a tiny particle made up of genetic material and protein. They are intermediate between living and non living things. Virus means â€˜poisonâ€™ in Latin. Viruses are intracellular obligatory parasites. The study of virus is called virology . Viruses are 10,000 times smaller than bacteria. Viruses have different shapes. They can be rod shaped, spherical or of other shapes.
A virus contains a core DNA or RNA. Surrounding that core is a protein coat. In some viruses, the protein coat is covered by an envelope made of proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates. These envelopes have spikes that help the virus particles attach to the host cells. Viruses cause many diseases to plants, animals and human beings.
Viruses show both living and non living characters.
* They respond to heat, chemicals and radiations.
* They reproduce inside the host cells and produce copies of themselves.
* They are inactive when present freely in the environment.
* They can be crystallized and stored for a very long time, like other non-living things.
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