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A virus is a microscopic organic entity that reproduces itself by invading the cells of living things. Viruses themselves are not truly alive, since they cannot reproduce independently, although they are composed of the same elements of living cells (eg a rudimentary nucleus containing RNA).

A virus attack can be detrimental to the host organism, often causing disease; many diseases that humans commonly suffer from are caused by viruses. Viruses that attack bacteria are called bacteriophages.

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