Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Are viruses alive? Perhaps we’re asking the wrong question

This June 8, 2020 article from The Conversation goes into some depth on how we define life alters how we categorize living versus non-living things.

Viruses have some characteristics of living things as DNA, the ability to change animal and plant DNA, and the ability to evolve. However they do not have a cell structure or a stable internal environment.

The complexity of this question is furthered by posing questions of forms that seem to be life outside of earth. What would be the qualifiers? or the select indicators that life is present?

The article concludes life is a human construct. Nature, evolution, and life exist without human categories. So some theorize that viruses are just on an evolutionary continuum regardless if we call them living or not.

July 13, 2020 - Posted by | Health News Items | , , ,

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