Are Viruses Alive?

by Moin Uddin Ahmed Tipu

Are viruses life forms or not? Scientists have been fighting about it for years, and Anthony has more on the latest wrinkle in this seemingly simple yet age-old debate.

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“New Study Shows Viruses Can Have Immune Systems”

“A study published today in the journal Nature reports that a viral predator of the cholera bacteria has stolen the functional immune system of bacteria and is using it against its bacterial host.”

“Viruses Pass Major Test to Enter Ranks of Living”

“Viruses can acquire fully functional immune systems, according to new research that bolsters the controversial theory that viruses are living creatures.”

“Zoologger: The only virus with an immune system”

“The tiny virus, barely 200 nanometres long, is about to infect its favourite victim: Vibrio cholerae, the species that causes cholera.”

“Viruses Can Have Immune Systems: A Pirate Phage Commandeers the Immune System of Bacteria”

“A study published today in the journal Nature reports that a viral predator of the cholera bacteria has stolen the functional immune system of bacteria and is using it against its bacterial host. ”

“This virus can steal its host’s immune system”

Viruses and their hosts are in a perpetual state of evolutionary war. Host organisms try to find ways to get rid of their parasitic interlopers, while viruses develop countermeasures to evade rejection.

DNews is a show about the science of everyday life. We post two new videos every day of the week.

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captainmorgan757 April 13, 2020 - 6:25 AM

He left out that a living thing has the ability to reproduce.

Mocanu George Elvis April 15, 2020 - 6:33 AM

Stop this virus

Annie Miller April 24, 2020 - 6:43 AM

Mars is a star. No life, just light.

Michelle Wilcox May 2, 2020 - 6:19 AM

Fascinating! How appropriate for our new world! THANKS!

Conspicuous Christian June 2, 2020 - 10:45 AM

my science class brought me here

The Roblox Kids!! June 23, 2020 - 9:37 AM

its not alive

Sean Peters June 25, 2020 - 7:07 AM

I learned in school that viruses aren't classified as living beings because they can't reproduce without a living host.

mr 2020 July 22, 2020 - 11:38 PM

now we are suffering from corona virus

A Hammer July 25, 2020 - 9:04 AM

Scientists have never seen a virus yet they want to tell us what one is. How very scientific.

Bryan Skidmore July 26, 2020 - 5:44 AM

Actually Viruses don't even exist. What makes us sick are our diets. The poisoned food. The toxic gases from cars. The electromagnetic waves cause sickness.

But there are going to be greedy crooks pushing lies like this video all the time.

Here's a video directly from the world's top Virologist.

Darnell Jones August 3, 2020 - 6:15 PM

What would a virus need with an immune system? That is a made-up notion that opens up possibilities to make up all kinds of "stories" and pharmaceutical products! This is a huge hoax.

Darnell Jones August 3, 2020 - 6:37 PM

Washing your hands can kill bacteria, but NOTHING can kill a virus!…because it USED to be a LIVE part of an organism.

What MAKES it a "virus" is the fact that it is DEAD: Discarded DNA and RNA.

kim boih August 4, 2020 - 5:08 AM


kim August 13, 2020 - 10:39 PM

back to school covid anyone 😙

I_Need_ Buddy August 19, 2020 - 8:30 AM

i had to watch this for homework lol

Zende Elsa Storlind August 31, 2020 - 8:04 PM

If a large amount of the information in our own human DNA is viruses, how are they enemies, thieves or parasitic in nature?

I don't understand the self loathing/self hatred of renaissance science. The paradigm of "othering" microorganisms, viruses, the earth etc is like othering yourself.

Julia M September 5, 2020 - 2:51 AM

Congrats you just solved how to cure coronavirus

Chickennuggetman 30 September 10, 2020 - 5:07 AM

Where's my fellow covid online schoolers

Yersinia Pestis Bacterium September 15, 2020 - 6:56 PM

I would love to see what viruses see and how they feel

Joan Mahaffy September 16, 2020 - 6:49 AM

Time Travel

JK K September 29, 2020 - 12:37 AM

no way its bs no they are dead

ELLIE DOUGLAS October 7, 2020 - 12:02 AM


Joshua Hollenbeck October 29, 2020 - 2:33 PM

So a fetus is a life?

Ding October 30, 2020 - 2:55 AM

They are alive. They try to reproduce an evolve. Rocks dont actively seek to replicate like life, but a virus does.

STAY CLINT November 7, 2020 - 7:21 AM

no . no life on mars its nasa fakes

SrmthfgRockLee December 27, 2020 - 2:09 AM

2020 c0r0na

Cyanwise December 31, 2020 - 11:19 AM

the fact that they are mutating to make infecting a lot easier proves that viruses are alive and conscious.

Khun Agnes January 5, 2021 - 1:11 AM

Uhh so now we are made of molecules which cause all these amazing living functions now viruses also have molecules so let's say we consider them as living…NOW everything around us is made of molecules so according to definition EVERYTHING is living ……

So maybe it depends on a level of complexity of functions that these molecules can perform so we can call it life but what is the actual threshold of complexity ? I guess we really cant give it a certain constant it really depends on our perspective.

jks January 18, 2021 - 8:19 PM


Devin Lawrence February 10, 2021 - 9:53 PM

who's here during online school

Fro$ty March 4, 2021 - 7:53 PM

I read an article that viruses aren’t contagious but they are in all our bodies already and attack anything toxic to the body. Like flies to a dead body.

Lloyd Davies March 13, 2021 - 7:17 AM

The arguments for viruses being non living just all seem so ridiculous to me. There’re too many contradictions. The fact they need a host to reproduce shouldn’t make a difference, because they contain genetic material that guides them to reproduce, enabling them to evolve. Anything that evolves should be consider life. By that I mean anything with ‘genetic malarial’ that contains instructions on how to reproduce, it wouldn’t count if something was artificially reproducing it, but whether or not it can do it by itself shouldn’t come into it. Parasites aren’t classed as non living, despite the fact they can’t survive, and hence reproduce, without a host. Even species that only need a specific host species to lay their eggs inside aren’t classed as non living.
What we should’ve done when we realised viruses didn’t have the things we thought were necessary for life, isn’t stick to our outdated views and reclassify viruses, we should’ve adapted to this new knowledge and changed our definitions to fit the reality

Just Me Donna Marie March 16, 2021 - 3:31 AM

viruses arent alive.

jaslene urra April 8, 2021 - 3:46 AM

what’s a virus tho ??

Donny Allard April 16, 2021 - 1:09 AM

So in 2020 we basically were invaded by aliens

Chucky S May 8, 2021 - 10:51 AM

Apparently a heartbeat on earth ain't life (abortionists) but a cell on Mars is? Hmmm.

william diamond May 15, 2021 - 1:43 AM

You suck

Brad Grauer June 6, 2021 - 5:03 PM

Viruses have never been alive so don't start pushing this crap

Christopher Zavala July 2, 2021 - 1:26 AM

Viruses are globulin deficient, because need the amino acids and primitive proteins they need in order mutate including our DNA since it's made up of amino acids

93Whipzz August 11, 2021 - 10:20 PM

In class rn 🙄🙄🙄

LowFrequency October 9, 2021 - 7:27 AM

Theyre dead, its like saying a bar of soap is alive

A. S. VanHoose November 30, 2021 - 5:55 AM

The fact that all this stuff is going on all around me at such a small scale freaks me out

Moosa December 15, 2021 - 12:16 PM

If viruses are alive, then tide soap can power a nuclear submarine.

Eddy S December 17, 2021 - 2:00 PM

Could viruses have been responsible for some of the unexplained evolutionary leaps some species have made?