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Are viruses living?

There is a tremendous debate about this question - scientists do not agree on the answer. Some people consider them to be just a bunch of chemicals. Other people consider them to be living parasites, because they require the metabolic machinery of host cells to survive. But they do reproduce, and they do have genetic material, so many people consider them to be the simplest living organisms. Probably the safest answer is that viruses have both living and nonliving characteristics. Source: BIOLOGY, by Neil Campbell, third edition

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