Characteristics of Living Things (50 points)
Living things share 8 characteristics (listed in Chapter 1 of your textbook on page 19). A living thing grows, undergoes metabolism, responds to its environment, reproduces, passes DNA to the next generation, maintains homeostasis, changes over time, and is made up of cells. A non-living thing may seem to do one or more of these things, but to be classified as living; all eight characteristics must be present. Sometimes, you may see something that seems alive but is not. Though you can’t see it, you have likely experienced it; one of those things is a virus.
Answer BOTH of the following questions:
- Using all 8 of the characteristics that define life, indicate which one(s) viruses have and which one(s) they do not, and explain each difference.
- With these results, present an argument that a virus is a living thing. Then, present the opposite argument that viruses are not alive.
You can fill out a table like this (though this is not required):
(yes, no, maybe, sort of)
Pass along their traits through DNA
Consume energy sources and expel waste products to maintain homeostasis
Respond to their environments
Respond to stimulus
Change over time
Can differ as individuals while still being part of a species
Are made up of cells
Review the following videos to understand what viruses are and how they work:
Reading these discussions may help you to form your arguments on the status of viruses:
Follow these guidelines for your paper:
- Utilize at least 1 credible source to support the arguments presented in the paper. Make sure you cite appropriately within your paper, and list the reference(s) in APA format on your Reference page.
- Your paper should be 1–2 pages in length, not counting the Title page and Reference page.
NPR. (2009, October 23). Flu attack! How a virus invades your body | Krulwich wonders | NPR [Video file]. Retrieved from
Rice, G. (n.d.). Are viruses alive? Retrieved from https://serc.carleton.edu/microbelife/yellowstone/...
Villarreal, V. (2008). Are viruses alive? Although viruses challenge our concept of what "living" means, they are vital members of the web of life. Retrieved from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/are-vir...
WinchPharmaGroup. (2015, March 9). What is a virus? How do viruses work? [Video file]. Retrieved from
Please submit your assignment.
Grading CriteriaProficient DescriptorPointsVirus as a living thing• Presents an argument that a virus is a living thing.
• Supports the argument with examples, such as the information gathered in the worksheet table. 4Viruses are not alive• Presents the opposite argument that viruses are not alive.
• Supports the argument with examples, such as the information gathered in the worksheet table. 4Characteristics of living things • Discusses the eight characteristics shared by living things within the two arguments.
1) a living thing grows
2) undergoes metabolism
3) responds to its environment
5) passes DNA to the next generation
6) maintains homeostasis
7) changes over time
8) is made up of cells 32Format, Grammar, and Mechanics• Provides a 1-2 page paper that is double-spaced, and includes a title page, reference page, running head, and page numbers. The title page and reference page are not counted in the length of 1-2 pages for the paper.
• Sentences are clear, well-articulated, and free from grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors.
• Information sources (a minimum of one) utilized are clearly identified, properly cited, and referenced using APA Style. 10Total 50