Microscopic Monsters

By on October 22, 2019
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What are these microscopic mono-cellular organisms called viruses?

She is beautiful, almost lovely, with an immaculate shape, stunning looks, out-of-the-world attire, and frightening grace. That’s how I look at a virus.

In the course of the Earth’s evolution, after it was hurled out of our Sun at 3,000,000 C, the temperatures settled between 30-400 C. Then appeared water and appropriate amino acids that led to the birth of a microbe.

Initial life started as mono-cellular organisms, popularly known to all of us as amoeba. With every passing era and millennium, mono-cellular organisms evolved into multi-cellular forms and multi-organ forms, such as human beings.

On the other hand, there was the virus, a mono-cellular complex organism.

Classifications place viruses into seven groups:

I. dsDNA viruses 

(eg. Adeno viruses, Herpes viruses, Pox viruses)

II. ssDNA viruses (+strand or ‘sense’) DNA (eg. Parvo viruses)

III. dsRNA viruses (eg. Reo viruses)

IV. (+)ssRNA viruses (+strand or sense) RNA (eg. Picorna viruses, 

Toga viruses)

V. (-)ssRNA viruses (-strand or antisense), RNA (eg. Orthomyxo viruses, Rhabdo viruses)

VI. ssRNA-RT viruses (+ strand or sense) RNA with DNA intermediate in life-cycle (eg. Retro viruses)

VII. dsDNA-RT viruses DNA with RNA intermediate in life-cycle (e.g. Hepadna viruses)

As an example of viral classification, the chicken pox virus, varicella zoster (VZV) belongs to the order Herpesvirales. The virus is a complete parasite. It must stay inside your cell to survive and multiply. In fact, it uses your body cell mechanism to multiply, unlike bacteria or parasites that attack humans but do not have to invade the cell.

Read the full article in 'Viva Goa' magazine copy.

Viva Goa magazine is now on stands. Available at all major book stalls and supermarkets in Goa.

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