Viruses are so incredibly basic that you can't even call them life. They are merely some DNA or RNA surrounded by a protective protein coating. Kind of like a biological M&M—they have a thin candy shell, so there's no chocolate mess. The earliest forms of life were even more primitive that modern viruses, but it was self-replication that began life as we know it on Earth.

There are even more basic forms of pseudo-life on Earth, plasmids and prions for example, but I figured I'd stick with something that most people have heard of.

This is a picture of a rotavirus created by Graham Colm. I colored it green to make it look more spooooooky!



Mr. Anderson writes:


Actually, afaik a virus is not really >>self<<-replicating. It inherently needs a host-cell to reproduce.

TheAlmightyGuru writes:


You know what I hate about viruses Mr. Anderson? It's the smell!

You are right though--modern viruses have several reproductive parts, but not enough to fully reproduce without a host. That is why I qualified the statement with, "-like- a virus." I draw an analogy to a virus because it's something that many people are familiar with.

Well, that, and I don't know enough about chemical biology to give a better example! ;-)

Spectre100 writes:


to compare primitive life to modern life in any form is not only difficult, it's difficult to find something to compare the comparison to... it's like a glowing ember to Hiroshima...

Katy writes:


I proved, when I was 14, that one can indeed melt M&M's in your hand. I even impressed (as in, impressed him with my weirdness LOL) a boy ...

TheAlmightyGuru writes:


However, if you freeze your hand with liquid nitrogen first...

This Site is a FAIL. writes:


Mr. Anderson writes: Actually, afaik a virus is not really >>self<<-replicating. It inherently needs a host-cell to reproduce.

proving once again that, This Site is a FAIL.

JFluffy writes:


and we see that TSIAF doesnt understand the idea of a 'simile'

william writes:


the virus is only self replicating if it has a host, so it'd be bacteria or something like that

Belg writes:


Hay TAG, shouldn't you write virus-like then? And, as already mentioned by default viruses cant self replicate, they need host cell to do so. Accepted understanding is that bacteria were first real "living" beings on earth.


Oh the irony!