A virus is an infectious agent that reproduces inside the cells of
living hosts. Unlike most living things, viruses do not have cells that
divide; instead they force infected host cells to produce thousands of
identical copies of the original virus, at an extraordinary rate. A
virus consists of two or three parts: genes, made from either DNA or
RNA, long molecules that carry the genetic information; a protein coat
that protects the genes; and in some, an envelope of fat that surrounds
and protects them when they are not contained within a host cell (and
makes them vulnerable to soap). Viruses spread in different ways; some
through the air by people when they cough or sneeze, others by the
faecal–oral route, and some by direct contact or during sex. Over
4,800 species have been discovered, many of which cause disease in
plants and animals, including common human diseases such as the common
cold, chickenpox and cold sores, and serious epidemics and pandemics
such as HIV/AIDS, Ebola, influenza, SARS and COVID-19.
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Introduction_to_viruses>
Today's selected anniversaries:
World War II: The United States Army Air Forces began Operation
Starvation, laying naval mines in many of Japan's vital water routes and
ports to disrupt enemy shipping.
Nikita Khrushchev, First Secretary of the Communist Party of
the Soviet Union, assumed the office of premier.
Brothers Nelson Bunker Hunt and William Herbert Hunt failed in
their attempt to corner the world silver market, causing panic in
commodity and futures exchanges.
A suicide bomber killed at least 48 people during Friday prayer
at a mosque in Jamrud, Pakistan.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. A four-wheeled cart for hauling loads.
2. A four-wheeled child's riding toy, pulled or steered by a long handle
attached to the front.
3. An enclosed vehicle for carrying goods or people; (by extension) a
lorry, a truck.
4. An enclosed vehicle used as a movable dwelling; a caravan.
5. Short for dinner wagon (“set of light shelves mounted on castors so
that it can be pushed around a dining room and used for serving”).
6. (slang) Short for paddy wagon (“police van for transporting
7. (rail transport) A freight car on a railway.
8. (chiefly Australia, US, slang) Short for station wagon (“type of car
in which the roof extends rearward to produce an enclosed area in the
position of and serving the function of the boot (trunk)”); (by
extension) a sport utility vehicle (SUV); any car.
9. (Ireland, slang, derogatory, dated) A woman of loose morals, a
promiscuous woman, a slapper; (by extension) a woman regarded as
obnoxious; a bitch, a cow.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
The king can drink the best of wine; So can I: And has enough
when he would dine — So have I; He cannot order rain or shine;
Nor can I. Then, where's the difference — let me see — Betwixt my
lord the king and me?