Science 208

Living things share 8 characteristics (listed in Chapter 1 of your textbook on page 19). A living thing grows, undergoes metabolism, responds to its environment, reproduces, passes DNA to the next generation, maintains homeostasis, changes over time, and is made up of cells. A non-living thing may seem to do one or more of these things, but to be classified as living; all eight characteristics must be present. Sometimes, you may see something that seems alive but is not. Though you can’t see it, you have likely experienced it; one of those things is a virus.

Answer BOTH of the following questions:

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  1. Using all 8 of the characteristics that define life, indicate which one(s) viruses have and which one(s) they do not, and explain each difference.
  2. With these results, present an argument that a virus is a living thing. Then, present the opposite argument that viruses are not alive.

You can fill out a table like this (though this is not required):

Characteristic

Virus

(yes, no, maybe, sort of)

Explanation

-Reproduce

-Pass along their traits through DNA

-Consume energy sources and expel waste products to maintain homeostasis

-Respond to their environments

-Respond to stimulus

-Change over time

-Can differ as individuals while still being part of a species

-Are made up of cells

Review the following videos to understand what viruses are and how they work:

Reading these discussions may help you to form your arguments on the status of viruses:

Follow these guidelines for your paper:

  • Utilize at least 1 credible source to support the arguments presented in the paper. Make sure you cite appropriately within your paper, and list the reference(s) in APA format on your Reference page.
  • Your paper should be 1–2 pages in length, not counting the Title page and Reference page.

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