Why Do Viruses Exist? | SHE-ensya Why Series

Hello Science Fans!

We are experiencing a massive change in our lifestyles because of a virus.

Here in the Philippines, Metro Manila and its neighboring provinces are once again in “Extreme Community Quarantine”, the most stringent form of lockdown in the country. This was caused by another spike of cases that exceeded the number of newly infected cases per day from the initial wave last July to August 2020.

As we contemplate life from within the four walls of our homes, have you ever wondered why viruses exist?

In this episode of the SHE-ensya Why Series, we discuss some of the basic principles needed to understand viruses.

We discuss the basic structure of a virus – how it’s made up of mostly two types of biomolecules (protein + nucleic acid). And yet despite this simplicity, it can take over the complex machinery of our cells once it gains entry.

NOT-SO-FUN FACT: Did you know that the fully constructed infectious form of a virus is called a virion?

We also look at how a virus usually infects a host organism. And this involves the impressive (and frustrating) ability of virions to make use of cellular structures that were originally made for the benefit of the cell.

Given how powerful this relatively simple entity is, we also take a look at the three major hypotheses that try to explain where viruses come from. After all, wouldn’t it fascinating to find out how nature created a seemingly perfect nemesis of living cells?

And finally, we also bravely tackle the question, “Are viruses alive?”

Please watch the SHE-ensya video below to learn more about these microscopic entities that have hugely impacted (and will continue to impact) our lives!

Thank you so much for dropping by!

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to contact me, your resident Filipina scientist, in the comments section below.

And remember, when in doubt, always use your (con)science!

3 thoughts on “Why Do Viruses Exist? | SHE-ensya Why Series

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