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What are viruses?

Viruses are subcellular infectious agents. They are very small, simple and have different shapes. Watch Esperanza Gomez-Lucia explain more.

Viruses are subcellular infectious agents, i.e., smaller and simpler than cells.

Most of them – at least those that affect animals – are only visible with the electron microscope, since their size ranges between 20 nm (e.g. picornavirus or parvovirus) and 300 nm (e.g. the poxvirus or herpes virus). If a virus were the size of a flea, a corresponding person would be the size of Mount Everest!

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How much do you already know about viruses? Has something about them caught your attention? Discuss with other learners anything that you did not know before. Or on the other hand, maybe you can answer some of their doubts. Wouldn’t that be cool?

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Animal Viruses: Their Transmission and the Diseases They Produce

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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