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    The Biology of Viruses and Protists

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    1. Argue for or against the statement, "Viruses are alive."

    2. The internal structure of many protists is much more complex than that of cells of multicellular organisms. Does this mean that the protist is engaged in more complex activities than the multicellular organism? If not, why should the protistan cell be much more complicated?

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    Solution Preview

    Viruses are not alive. They are macromolecular assemblies of [mostly] protein and some form of limited genetic material (RNA or DNA). They do not have self-autonomy and cannot reproduce on their own. They must "hijack" the cellular machinery of a host cell in order to reproduce. In addition, they cannot undergo various forms of cellular metabolism such as the oxidation of glucose, synthesis of amino acids, ...

    Solution Summary

    It is important that we have a solid grasp of the differences between viruses and living organisms. What exactly is a virus? How does it fit into the classification scheme of living organisms? Is it, in fact, "living"? And, what about single-celled protists? Are they less complex just because they're small. Download this solution and learn the answers to these intriguing questions.