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How HIV Infects Helper T Cells

This solution will review the basics of viruses and discuss the process that occurs when a helper T cell is infected by the HIV virus. It includes a glossary to aid in understanding of the technical terms, that occur in a first year introductory college biology class.

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First, let me review the basics about viruses. Viruses are merely a piece of RNA or DNA, depending upon the type of virus, that is surrounded by a protein coat. They have a very small genome and cannot replicate this genetic material on their own. They cannot reproduce outside of a host cell, therefore they are not considered a living thing.

1.The HIV virus enters a helper T cell and attaches to a specific receptor located on the surface of the T cell membrane, CD4 + fusin. It works much like enzymes do because the CD4 receptor is a certain shape. When this happens the virus and the cell membrane fuse and the core of the virus enters the cell.

2. At this point, the viral RNA and the core proteins are ...

Solution Summary

This solution reviews the basics of viruses and discuss the 4-step process that occurs when a helper T cell is infected by the HIV virus. The posting totals 517 words with 1 reference and a 5-word glossary of the technical terms.

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