Can a virus be called an organism, an individual?

When a virus in a host cell reproduces its own kind, it is an organism, and very active. Outside the host cell, the virus has no signs of a living organism.
The exceptionally primitive structure of the virus, the simplicity of its organization, the absence of cytoplasm and ribosomes, as well as its own metabolism, small molecular weight – all this, distinguishing viruses from cellular organisms, provides the basis for discussing the question: what is a virus – a creature or substance, living or nonliving ? Scientific debates on this topic have been going on for a long time. However, now, thanks to a thorough study of the properties of a huge number of types of viruses, it has been established that the virus is a special form of life, although it is very primitive. The structure of the virus, represented by its interacting main parts (nucleic acid and proteins), structural certainty (core and protein coat – capsid), its maintenance of its structure make it possible to consider the virus as a special living system – an organism-level biosystem, although it is very primitive.

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