Genetic Information of Viruses
The human body is home to all the bacteria, viruses, and other microbes that exist in the environment. Every day, thousands of these microorganisms make their way into the bloodstream through the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air that we breathe. Once inside the body, they continue to reproduce by secreting more virus-like molecules from their infected sites of origin. These viruses are often called viri; a name that was given to them in the year 2021. Now, with the increasing interest in the relationship between disease and chemical manipulation of biological systems, we now know better than to doubt the power of viruses and their viruses.
First, a virus is nothing more than a virus that spreads between living things by stealing the genetic information it needs to replicate. A virus is a sort of self replicating and self-destructive machine. It is made of a small core of DNA or RNA surrounded by a thick layer of protein. Sometimes the protein coat is covered by an extra spikey layer known as the envelope; sometimes the protein coat is itself covered with viral particles. After the DNA has been copied into an appropriate form, the virus sends it out and begins to multiply. The replicate copies are then sent on their way, and the process repeats itself over again until the pathogen is unable to replicate anymore.
There are three types of viruses that typically attack living cells: retroviruses, envelopases, and bacteriocasts. A retrovirus is a virus that invades an organism by crossing the boundary formed by the natural immune response. Encapsulates are those that invade living tissues and those that infect only nonliving surfaces.
The first type of infectious agent that invades living cells was discovered way back in the 1970s when scientists were working on understanding the genetic structure of bacteria and other organisms. One of the projects for that research was studying the pathogenic properties of certain bacteria. As part of their work, they discovered that some tobacco plants had unusually high amounts of a virus called the tobacco mosaic virus. Since this discovery, scientists have been trying to discover how this virus caused the damage to tobacco plants’ reproductive parts.
Scientists can use molecular biology tools like molecular probes to locate and isolate these specific host genes. Then, these viruses can be dissected to reveal the viral genetic material responsible for the effect. They can also be studied to see which specific cellular machinery is being damaged in these viruses. Finally, the specific proteins produced by the host genes can be analyzed using antibodies to reveal exactly which proteins are being affected.
Although many people are aware of the basic functions of viruses and how these viruses affect living organisms, very little is understood about their mechanism of action. Studying the complex mechanisms of viruses is complicated but is essential to comprehending the causes and treatment of viral infections. This knowledge is essential to developing drugs that will prevent and cure severe and debilitating diseases such as HIV and AIDs. Ultimately, understanding the genetic information of viruses will allow pharmaceutical engineers and medical scientists to develop vaccines to prevent the spread of viruses.