Is a virus living?

Meilleur Sebastien meilleus at MAGELLAN.UMontreal.CA
Tue Dec 1 20:39:16 EST 1998

Tracey Noble (tracey.noble at wrote:
: Can someone help me?  I am trying to find
: information on whether a virus is a living
: organism or not?  Is there an on-line debate
: somewhere?  This information is for an essay and
: ANY help would be appreciated.  Thank-you.

It all depends on your definition of living:

As my biology teacher once put it:

If living means to reproduce itself, to strive to survive and transmit
it's genetical material, then yes a virus is living.

If living means to eat, breathe, eliminate, evolve (virus can mutate but
this isn't really evolution) then NO, virus do not live.

It all depends on your definition of living.

Sebastien Meilleur    		 "There is no right and wrong,
Neurological Sciences student	  There is only fun and boring!"
Universite de Montreal		  
Quebec, Canada			  -Hackers soundtrack

More information about the Bioforum mailing list