For as long as man has been around, viruses have been a mystery. In order for
a virus to live it must have a host. If the host dies, then the virus dies.
Scientists classify viruses as both living and non living organisms. Viruses
cannot make proteins or use energy. Viruses are half to one hundredth size of
the smallest bacterium. A virus is not an independently living organism and
must have some sort of a host. Antibiotics can not cure a virus, but can ease
some of the symptoms. Viruses basically reproduce and infect other hosts. Everything
can be infected by viruses as far as we know. Many viruses are named after the
disease they cause.
Structure of Viruses
All viruses, or virons, are made of a nucleic core and a protein coat. A virus is not a cell because it does not have a nucleus or cell membrane. The protein coat, also known as a capsid, protects the DNA. Bacteriophages have a tail that is used to attach itself to the cell and inject its DNA.
Viruses can only reproduce inside a living cell, the host cell. The reproduction
of viruses happen in a cycle, the Lytic Cycle. First the bacteriophage attaches
to the host cell. Then nucleic acid is injected into the cell. Then the hosts
DNA is destroyed and a new nucleic acid and proteins replace the DNA. The
new viral particles are assembled. The host cell breaks open and new viral
particles are released. Then the Lytic Cycle repeats its self over and over
again. Viral particles go through another cycle called the Lysogenic Cycle.
The cycle is when the virus DNA becomes irrigated with the host chromosome.
The Lysogenic Cycle leads up to the Lytic Cycle.
Bacteriophages were first discovered in 1915, and are the most understood
viruses. Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria. When the host, the
bacteria, gets infected it dies. Phages can have many different bacterial
hosts. When bactteriophages kill the bacteria they infect, they are called
A temperate phage is a bacteriophage that reproduce without killing their
host. They mainly reproduce in two ways, the lytic cycle and the lysogenic
cycle. When they go through these cycles, the phages DNA combine with the
host chromosome, then it is known as a prophage.
Plaques are formed when there is a high amount of dead bacteria. Which means
that there is a high numbers of living viruses. When a virus injects its DNA
into a new host cell, the cell then lyses, or bursts, releasing new viruses.
The process is then repeated, until it can find no more hosts. In order for
an extract to have antiviral properties, it must result in a low number of
plaques. The higher the plaques, the lower antiviral properties.
Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alterifolia)
The Tea Tree comes from Australia and is very useful. Tea tree oil comes
from the tree leaves. The cells in the leaves are very healing and is used
as an antiseptic. Aboriginal tribes use tea tree oil for an antiseptic for
thousands of years. Stories and myths say that they used to bathe in creeks
and lagoons by tea tree oil trees and be healed if they were sick. The leaves
would dissolve in the creeks and lagoons, making a water that was safe to
bathe in and to drink as a tea.
A famous British explorer came up with the name tea tree because he made his sailors drink a tea from the tree to prevent diseases. In 1923 Australian soldiers used tee tree oil as an antiseptic in World War ll. Now in about every Australian household, you will find a bottle of tea tree oil.
Golden Seal is a root that is native to North America and has been used
for centuries in herbal medicine. Some of the vitamins and elements in
Golden Seal are: calcium, manganese, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E,
and many other minerals and nutrients.
Because Golden Seal is like a multivitamin, its very popular and a lot
of people use it. It is know for its antibiotic and anti-inflammatory