Are viruses alive?

The question of whether viruses are living or not always provokes lively discussion. On TWiV 59 we decided to take an informal poll of our listeners on this issue. Let’s open up the poll to readers of virology blog.

Update 1/18/16: Survey Monkey took down the poll results, so I’ve posted another poll. But I’m keeping this page up for the comments.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Megan 23 May 2011, 10:36 am

    i bet my vibrator is way bigger than yours but i think yours must be fatter for your huge bucket 

  • Megan 23 May 2011, 10:36 am

    i bet my vibrator is way bigger than yours but i think yours must be fatter for your huge bucket 

  • fvrgthyj 23 May 2011, 10:37 am

    Sexy time is sooooo awesome but i think if we bond together we can have PAKI baby’s together 

  • fvrgthyj 23 May 2011, 10:37 am

    Sexy time is sooooo awesome but i think if we bond together we can have PAKI baby’s together 

  • Megan 23 May 2011, 10:38 am

    and i like black cock 

  • Megan 23 May 2011, 10:39 am

    my definition of alive is does it have tits 

  • Megan 23 May 2011, 10:40 am

    u are gay 

  • Megan 23 May 2011, 10:40 am

    can i rape ur dad 

  • fvrgthyj 23 May 2011, 10:41 am

     Oh yer i bet you want to f**k scientists, shall i tell you what else needs fucking, my fanny

  • fvrgthyj 23 May 2011, 10:41 am

    sex+ me= AIDS 🙁 

  • MEGAN LEE 23 May 2011, 10:42 am

    I LIKE BIG BUTTS AND I CANNOT LIE 

  • fvrgthyj 23 May 2011, 10:42 am

    POP MY CHERRY 

  • Crawford 17 June 2012, 12:50 am

    Aside from the puerile digressions, some interesting discussion. Life and Death are descriptive terms, and as such mutable. YES is probably an intended answer. Much of what is discussed here is philosophy not science. Are we hominids colonial organisms? A colonoscopy will convince one that some autonomous organisms are essential for us, and there are many more in and on us. Prions and viruses, mycoplasma and bacteria might all be in us, some more useful than others in insuring our individual progressions in our cycle of individual organism life and death. Both of these processes seem necessary for continuation of species. Just as easy to ask when each process begins or ends as it is to ascribe these conditions to viruses. The work of Dr. James Robert Cade should remind us that specific chemicals are necessary for our well being. Why do viruses exist, and what are the for seem more interesting?

  • Smerklapax 12 August 2012, 5:58 pm

    If by dead you mean decayed and not working then No but if you mean in certain circumstances where they do not act.. You should see them as inactive but overall they are alive as they affect the host.

  • Meme 26 November 2012, 4:56 pm

    I Can’t find find the poll?

  • Chris 18 September 2013, 8:30 pm

    This is awesome. Just found http://www.youtube.com/course?list=ECF03C29905EF9A6CA lectures as I recently became fascinated with biowarfare. Looking forward to starting this course in about a month or so (I need to ‘learn to learn’ – any resources on this?). I have no clue what the answer to the above is as I don’t know what the word ‘living’ means. All the best all, and hopefully see somebody around the traps. Have a nice day.