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Bacteria vs. Virus - A Layman's Guide

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posted on Sep, 26 2011 @ 02:41 PM
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1. Table of Contents

1. Table of Contents
2. Preface
3. Viruses
4. Bacteria
5. Closing


2. Preface


Hey everyone. I'm a relatively new member to ATS, however I have been lurking here for years. Yes, my first name is Mike. No, my last name is not Zutch. Regardless, I am currently a college student, doing my Pre-Veterinary studies and my main interests lie in Pandemics and Diseases. I find that a fascinating and ever changing field. I joined ATS not only to share knowledge, but to gain knowledge as well. I hope to write a few "guides" such as this one, so to speak, on various topics in this field, things such as maybe a whole topic dedicated to a disease, or a topic dedicated to what you can do to lessen your chances of getting sick.

So, now on to why i'm writing this particular topic. I have seen many, many people confuse the two. They say well it sounds like you have a bacterial infection when it is actually a viral infection, and vice versa. It is my hopes that this topic can help some people learn, remember, and apply the knowledge I share here. It is also my goal to be able to teach this to a layman, without getting into complicated matters. So rest assure if you are no scientist, you will still be able to follow. This guide will not be going into the history of their discovery, but will simply touch upon the main differences of the two, while providing examples of diseases associated with each.

Now it's time to learn !


3. Viruses


Ah yes, a word that strikes fear in both the medical world, as well as the technological world. The Virus. A virus is naked to the human eye, but can do a whole lot of hurt. They are smaller than a bacteria, though the exact size comparison depends on the types of both, however, 100 times smaller is generally accepted. It would take roughly 30,000 to 750,000 of them, side by side, to stretch to one cm. Viruses need to invade a living host in order to reproduce. It does this by taking over a cell, and changing the cells function to begin creating more and more virus particles. A single Virus particle is called a virion. A virion is made up of DNA or RNA, and are surrounded by a coat of protein.

Viruses come in many shape and sizes. This is a 3D model of a Flu Virus.

Commonly known illnesses caused by a virus are HIV/AIDS, Ebola, and the Flu.

That was, in very simple terms, what a virus is. Now, onto Bacteria !


4. Bacteria

Unlike viruses, bacteria are living organisms. Though, they are also very small, only one cell. They reproduce asexually, simply put, with themselves. They have the capability to divide themselves which means they do not need a living host like a virus to reproduce and spread. Most bacteria are not harmful to us, as some even live on us or inside of us. Many are even beneficial to us, which are called Probiotics. For example, some live in our intestines and help us to digest food. However, the darker side of bacteria can be very bad and deadly. They can be engineered this way, or sometimes if a bacteria ends up in the wrong part of your body.

Like a virus, a bacteria also comes in many shapes and sizes.

This is an E.Coli Bacteria.

Infections commonly associated with bacteria include E.Coli, Salmonella, and Strep Throat.


5. Closing


Thank you for reading this very simple guide that took a short journey through the differences between viruses and bacteria. I hope it has been of some interest, and hopefully it was interesting enough to spark your own in depth research. If you have anything you wish for to be added, changed, deleted, whatever, feel free to let me know ! Also, criticism is accepted, this is my first such guide, so to be able to add to ATS, it would be much appreciated to let me know how to improve.
edit on 26-9-2011 by MikeZutch because: Added something and fixed structure.




posted on Sep, 26 2011 @ 02:56 PM
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reply to post by MikeZutch
 


I enjoyed reading your work.

Looking forward to seeing more from you.



posted on Sep, 26 2011 @ 03:05 PM
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Thanks mate, means a lot.

Sorry for the wall of text as well, I wasn't sure how to add an image, which is why the links to the pictures of the Virus and Bacteria are just that, links.



posted on Sep, 26 2011 @ 03:06 PM
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reply to post by MikeZutch
 


Sup dude, I'm a med student if you ever have any questions about anything feel free to hit me up man! Hope all is well



posted on Sep, 26 2011 @ 03:08 PM
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Nice to find someone else heading into the medical field !

Same goes to you as well, like if you ever have to know what the healthy temperature range is for a juvenile Blue Tounged Skink, let me know.



posted on Sep, 26 2011 @ 03:16 PM
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reply to post by MikeZutch
 


Hahah you got it my friend, keep doing what you're doing, =D



posted on Sep, 26 2011 @ 04:09 PM
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Thanks ! Good luck in your studies !





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