Viruses vs. Kingdom of Life
The purpose of this assignment is to discussing the classification of viruses within the six kingdoms of life, and whether if viruses belong to any of the six kingdoms.
All living things can be categorize into one of six kingdoms, and they share five basic properties. All living organisms share common characteristics, and they share five basic properties. They are: cellular organization, metabolism, homeostasis, growth and reproduction, and heredity. (Johnson, 2010, p. 15) Those living things are categorized into six groups called Kingdoms. The six kingdoms are Bacteria, Archaea, Protista, Fungi, Plantae, and Animalia.
Viruses are a mixture of nucleic acid and protein, even though viruses don’t have the abilities to reproduce their own kind, but they can replicate themselves by using their host cell’s DNA. Furthermore, viruses are not living organisms, because they don’t share any of those five basic properties in the six kingdoms. Viruses are literally “parasitic” chemicals, segments of DNA (or sometimes RNA) wrapped in a protein coat. (Johnson, 2010, p. 299)
If viruses don’t belong to any of six kingdoms, where do they belong to? Could viruses be the aliens which Steven Benner was arguing about in the article Aliens Among Us? A number of researchers now theorize that DNA-based life evolved from an RNA-based predecessor. RNA is an unusual molecule that can both store genetic information and act like an enzyme, cutting apart other molecules or putting them together. (Zimmer, Jul2007)
In conclusion viruses do not belong in any kingdom of life and apparently they do not contribute anything to the six kingdoms of life.
Johnson, G. (2010). Essential of The Living World. New York City : The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Zimmer, C. (Jul2007). ALIENS AMONG US. Discover Magazine, Vol. 28, Issue 7.