Viruses (Updated)

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Explore the lytic and lysogenic viral replication cycles with the Amoeba Sisters! This video also discusses virus structures and why a host is critical for viral reproduction. Expand details for table of contents and further reading suggestions! This updated video replaces our older virus video from 2013.

Table of Contents:
0:29 Intro to a Virus
1:10 Virus Structure
2:30 Lytic Cycle
3:41 Lysogenic Cycle
4:48 HIV
5:52 Viruses in Gene Therapy, Pesticide

We cover the basics in biology concepts at the secondary level. If you are looking to discover more about biology and go into depth beyond these basics, our recommended reference is the FREE, peer reviewed, open source OpenStax biology textbook:

Further Reading Suggestions:

Learn more about the Nuclear Polyhedrosis Virus (NPV)- a virus that can target pest insects.

How does Gene Therapy Work? (from NIH)

We received a great comment asking about how viral DNA may go undetected. Check out this great journal article:


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The Amoeba Sisters videos demystify science with humor and relevance. The videos center on Pinky’s certification and experience in teaching science at the high school level. Pinky’s teacher certification is in grades 4-8 science and 8-12 composite science (encompassing biology, chemistry, and physics). Amoeba Sisters videos only cover concepts that Pinky is certified to teach, and they focus on her specialty: secondary life science. For more information about The Amoeba Sisters, visit:

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We have YouTube’s community contributed subtitles feature on to allow translations for different languages, and we are thankful for those that contribute different languages! YouTube automatically credits the different language contributors below (unless the contributor had opted out of being credited). We are not affiliated with any of the translated subtitle credits that YouTube may place below. If you have a concern about community contributed contributions, please contact us.


Amoeba Sisters says:

This topic is now an Unlectured Series topic! One of the question starters in the Unlectured topic mentions two therapies still being explored that can use viruses: phage therapy and gene therapy. Something fascinating to research if you have an interest in learning more about viruses.

Vandalia1998 says:

Can you talk about Endogenous retro viruses?

Hermella Getachew says:

awesome video, thanks

sugafan 101 says:

when you said DNA I was singing DNA by bts any armys here?

Rusem Paul says:

So how do these things get into my computer

Jqdxn says:

Today's Virus

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Zuzana Brůžová says:

I have added czech subtitles to your video. Could you check it and publish it if you'll like it? Thanks 🙂

Alshimaa Ashraf says:

Your content is very useful, thanks!

Mr. Steal Yo Girl says:

ever just thought about how our brain, which is watching the video, should just tell all the cells to watch out for these pesky pests ey?

Melissa Rodriguez says:


Mathilde Ruby says:

Your video is so amazing! Is it possible to use some of your drawings to include them in a video-class project? It's on education purpose, and we'll cite you in credits of course! Thanks in advance!

Arif Billah Meskat says:

thanks a lot.

matthew austin says:

Viruses aren’t the real viruses humanity is the real virus

That Random Rabbit says:

Cute artwork :3

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