Organise a discussion in your class on the topic- Are viruses living or non-living? | NCERT solution | Class 12 Biology | Unit-2 Biological Classification

Q.12:- Organise a discussion in your class on the topic- Are viruses living or non-living?

 

Answer

Viruses are microscopic organisms that have characteristics of both living and non-living. A virus consists of a strand of DNA or RNA covered by a protein coat. This presence of nucleic acid (DNA or RNA) suggests that viruses are alive. In addition, they can also respond to their environment (inside the host cell) in a limited manner.
However, some other characters, such as their inability to reproduce without using the host cell machinery and their a cellular nature, indicate that viruses are non-living. Therefore, classifying viruses has remained a mystery for modern systematics.