A virus is a small parasite that cannot reproduce on its own. Once it infects a  cell, a virus can target the cell machinery to produce more viruses. Maximum viruses have ribonucleic acid (RNA) or DNA as their genetic material. Nucleic acid may be single or double. The entire infectious virus particle, called virion, is composed of nucleic acid and an outer envelope of protein. The simplest viruses contain enough RNA or DNA to encode four proteins. The most compound can encode 100 - 200 proteins. A wealth of research on bacterial and viral viruses from animals has provided a detailed understanding of viral structure, and virus-infected cells have proven most useful as model systems for studying the basic aspects of cell biology.    

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