12. Organise a discussion in your class on the topic – Are viruses living or non-living?

Viruses are microscopic organisms that have characteristics of both living and non-living. A virus consists of a strand of DNA or RNA covered by a protein coat. This presence of nucleic acid (DNA or RNA) suggests that viruses are alive. In addition, they can also respond to their environment (inside the host cell) in a limited manner. However, some other characters, such as their inability to reproduce without using the host cell machinery and their acellular nature, indicate that viruses are non-living. Therefore, classifying viruses has remained a mystery for modern systematics.