Properties of viruses

Review the structure of DNA

RNA is similar to DNA


Instead of thymine, it has uracil
It has the sugar ribose, instead of deoxyribose
It is single stranded

Shape of a double helix, repeating units of nucleotides

Base pairs held together by hydrogen bonds (weak)

Adenine -----|-----Thymine
Guanine -----|---- Cytosine

The sides of the DNA made of alternating deoxyribose (5 ring sugar) and phosphates

Virus Structure

Virus has a covering that has a capsid and sometimes an envelope
Inner core contains a nucleic acid molecule (DNA or RNA) and various proteins

Viruses are usually very specific to their host and to the cells they can infect.

Viral Reproduction

See Video on How a Virus Invades Your Body (NPR)

Lytic cycle = reproduction occurs, cells burst
Lysogenic cycle = reproduction does not immediately occur (dormancy)

TMV1. Attachment - specific proteins on cell surface attach to the virus

2. Penetration - the virus is engulfed by the cell (Cell can enter Lysogenic or Lytic Cycle)

3 . Biosynthesis - viral components are made (protein coat, capsid, DNA/RNA)

4. Maturation - assembly of viral components

5. Release - viruses leave host cell to infect new cells (often destroys host)

bacteriophageTypes of Viruses

Bacteriophage - viruses that infect bacteria.

Retroviruses -- RNA viruses that have a DNA stage

How Are Viruses Named

Historically they have been named for a variety of factors, including

Newer Conventions

Example of an Influenza Virus Naming
naming viruses

Focus on Human Immunodeficiency Virus

- Causes the disease AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)

HIV Infection Cycle (animation) | HIV Life Cycle - drugs target specific viral processes

HIV Coloring Assignment *Make sure you understand the steps involved in infection and how drugs treat the disease.

Related to Viruses 

Viroids - even smaller than viruses, consist of RNA strands that lack a protein coat
Prions - "rogue protein", believed to be the cause of Mad Cow Disease, also may cause Kuru in cannibal tribes

Treatment of Viruses


Antiviral Drugs