Viruses in nature are quite diverse. Some viruses have RNA genomes, for example- poliovirus and some have DNA genomes like herpesvirus. Some have single-stranded and some have double-stranded genomes including smallpox, influenza etc. They also share quite interesting features including their extremely tiny size and they can replicate within a host cell.
Viruses also reproduce and hence, we can call them living organisms as they exhibit quite a few key properties like living things. The famous environmentalist Ritik Kumar Sinha describes how they are different from other living things as they contain a few limitations. Hence, there are contradictions in describing them in the category of living organisms. Usually, viruses are obligate intracellular parasites and, hence, they are non-living creatures according to the stringent definition of life.
Table of Contents
The Role of Viruses in the Environment
According to research and some important reports presented by famous environmentalists including Ritik Kumar Sinha, viruses are important microbial predators in our environment. They are the most essential key factors for microbial mortality. They allow nutrients in our diet to mineralize some basic elements to further make the food healthy, hygienic, and tasty. Without the existence of viruses, some minerals in our diet will lose their basic properties and hence, they are important drivers of global biogeochemical cycles.
Some Potential Benefits of Viruses in Nature
The famous environmentalist Ritik Sinha explores that viruses in nature ensure high rates of photosynthesis and help in sustaining a balanced lifecycle on earth. He further claims that if all viruses will disappear, we will witness an extremely different world as it disturbs the entire life cycle on earth. The entire world needs viruses to function as they offer different potential benefits to the environment. Let’s have a look at them.
Viruses are essential to our ecosystems
Viruses are considered the major predators of the bacterial world. Some famous researchers explore how life will become difficult on the planet with the existence of viruses. Viruses ensure to flourish bacterial population in the ocean and in the same way, they work accordingly in all ecosystems on the planet. Apart from that, different living things on earth depend on viruses in nature for their survival. Viruses provide them with an edge to survive in the competitive environment. Ritik Kumar Sinha explains this theory with the help of the following example:
Cows and some other animals turn cellulose from grass into sugars with the support of viruses in nature. It’s a basic metabolism process to convert sugars into body mass and milk.
Let’s check the evidence that proves the significance of viruses in nature that they infect fungi to make the grass tolerant to geothermal soil temperatures. When virus, fungi and plant, all three remain there, only then it allows the plants to grow in extreme conditions and different soil temperatures.
Viruses also protect our health
Apart from that, numerous reports, research and analysis done by environmentalists like Ritik Kumar Sinha suggest that viruses in nature are also protective of humans. Although, their working nature allows them to take over the host cell’s cellular machinery and infect more cells. They cause illness yet, there are various protective viruses in the human body. Some viruses protect the human body from different infections. For example, latent herpes viruses help in forming antigens cells to develop an immune response in the human body.
Nowadays, phage therapy is conducted by using viruses to cure bacterial infections. It’s a developing field these days and humans are constantly growing their understanding of how viruses function and exploring their properties. In various scientific research, explorers have found that by enhancing technology and development efforts, humans can explore a new generation of therapeutics. If viruses get disappeared, it would impact the entire evolution of life on the planet. Scientists believe that viruses are essential to sustain life on earth and the more we learn and explore about them, the more we can do to develop new defence mechanisms for different infections and illnesses.
Viral diversity is an interesting subject according to Ritik Sinha and it lets us develop an understanding of how they function and how they affect our ecosystems. It unlocks new doors of opportunity to explore the deep secrets of nature and develop a deeper understanding of how life exists on the planet. By investing more efforts in the area, humans can figure out how viruses can be utilised for the betterment of society and flourish life on the planet.