Reflection 4: Virus vs. Bacterium

Today we are going to look at some major differences between a Virus cell & a Bacterium as well as the survival of Viruses.

Within our Cell lecture we briefly touched on one major difference between a Virus & Bacterium and that was the size. Mr. Matthew stressed that Viruses were by far smaller that Bacteria and he questioned us by asking:  How can viruses survive if they are smaller than the smallest  bacterium? So i decided to do my own research on the two. Hope you guys learn something and enjoy!

What is it?

Bacteria can be defined as a large group of microorganisms lacking organelles and an organized nucleus. They can be harmful; however, majority are usually not.

Viruses can be defined as a large group of sub-microscopic infective agents that are extremely large in size.

Differences

Bacterium

Virus

Structures

DNA and RNA floating freely in cytoplasm. Cell wall and cell membrane

DNA or RNA enclosed inside a coat of protein

Ribosomes

Yes

No

Size

Larger (1000nm)

Smaller (20 – 400nm)

Reproduction

Fission- a form of asexual reproduction

Invades a host cell and takes over the cell causing it to make copies of the viral DNA/RNA. Destroys the host cell releasing new viruses.

Video: Summary of Viruses & Bacteria

How do viruses survive?

When doing research I learnt that viruses are typically described as ‘non-living’ because they are the smallest existing life forms. I found out that viruses consists mostly of RNA and cannot survive long without host cells.

References:

Video- Health MantraTV Youtube

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