1. Table of Contents
1. Table of Contents
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 !
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
, and the Flu.
That was, in very simple terms, what a virus is. Now, onto 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
, and Strep
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.