Characteristics Of Viruses

Viruses are not alive because they lack some of the key characteristics of living organisms. For example, viruses do not have cytoplasm or organelles. They cannot carry out cellular functions such as metabolism and homeostasis. They do not grow as cells do by dividing in two. Even though viruses do have genetic material, or a genome—either DNA or RNA—they cannot reproduce outside their host cell. They must enter a living cell and use the host cell's ribo-somes, ATP, enzymes, and other molecules to reproduce.

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