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Cohabitating-microbes

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Where They Are Found

Viruses are found on or in just about every material and environment on Earth from soil to water to air. They're basically found anywhere there are cells to infect. Viruses have evolved to infect every form of life, from animal to plant and from fungi to bacteria.

However, viruses tend to be somewhat picky about what type of cells they infect. Plant viruses are not equipped to infect animal cells, for example, though a certain plant virus could infect a number of related plants. Sometimes, a virus may infect one creature and do no harm, but cause havoc when it gets into a different but closely enough related creature.

For example, the Hantavirus is carried by deer mice without much noticeable effect on the rodents. But if Hantavirus gets into a person, it causes a dramatic and frequently deadly disease marked by excessive bleeding.

True parasites, viruses are basically little more than molecular syringes moving genetic information from one cell to another.

Some viruses enter a host and leave virtually unnoticed. Others cause disease and destroy the host.

 

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