Most viruses are tiniest packets of protein designed to steal and reproduce themselves. They are microscopic, with no outer shell. But viruses do have a membrane covering. These coats of protection are made of proteins. But, just like any protein, proteins can be damaged by the elements.
Viruses are tiniest packets of protein designed to steal and reproduce themselves; though that is still a question of scientific theory; they simply re merely packages of viral information. Some carry only that coded information in single strands of DNA, others in double-strands or even in full strands of DNA. But they all work by using those same instructions as a template for invading living cells, or “hosts”.
Every cell in our body has an envelope – a thin membrane around the cell that protects the innermost layer of the cell from the environment. However, this protective envelope is subject to damage and distortion as a result of many different factors. The most common is a breakdown in the DNA coding which is itself also a process that damages the DNA. Other factors include exposure to external irritants, toxins or other external forces such as extreme temperatures, chemicals and light. All of these processes and more can make the membranes of our cells less stable and permeable. As a result, the virus is able to penetrate and replicate, spreading and causing disease in a variety of ways.
To understand how the virus gets into the cell and triggers illness, we must first understand how the virus makes its protein shell. When a virus enters a cell, it uses several complex processes to coat the virus ‘envelopes with amino acids and other proteins which serve as a boost for the virus’ entry and evasion strategies. These processes of protein coating typically involve the production of two types of protein: interferon and lymphocytic virus.
Interferon is a protein produced by the immune system which aids in controlling the replication of the HIV genome. Lymphocytic virus is a type of viral infection that causes a variety of cellular disorders; it is this form of the virus that allows for the ability of the host cell to develop symptoms. As an instance, a person with a single strain of HIV will generally exhibit no symptoms. However, the single strain can rapidly enter the body of someone already infected in the same way that the SIV virus enters a person’s body: through infected blood and other fluids.
As described, the HIV envelope protects the virus’ protein shell from outside interference and allows for the viral particles to enter the cell. Once inside, the HIV machinery proceeds to replicate itself within the human cell. This allows for the formation of a variety of different strains. Some are known as epithelial cells, which are tissue-based; some are called lymphocytes, which are cells that produce plasma cells – the cells involved in producing blood. Then there are T-cells, which mediate a wide range of cell-specific activities. These various forms of the virus are responsible for allowing the virus to invade and damage the host cell.
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