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Teacher Resources

Understanding Viruses

Author: Frank Weisel

Challenge your students to work together in groups as scientists investigating viruses.  As scientists, the students will be challenged to invent ways of safeguarding against viruses.  After the lesson, they'll have a better understanding that:
1. A virus is an infectious organism that reproduces within the cells of an infected host.
2. A virus is not alive until it enters the cells of a living plant or animal.
3. A virus contains genetic information wrapped in a protein coat.
4. Viruses can be useful as well as harmful.
5. A virus that mutates ensures its own survival by making itself unrecognizable to immune systems and vaccines.
6. Even viruses engineered for useful purposes can be harmful if unchecked.

Subjects:  ScienceTechnology
Grade Level:  9101112
Keywords:  viruses genetics mutation

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