Viruses are disease-causing, nonliving particles composed
of an inner core of nucleic acids surrounded by a capsid. They have a plasma membrane, cell wall, and a proteins capsule.
They also contain either RNA or DNA, which can be either single stranded or double stranded. Viruses cannot make their
own energy or reproduce, so they attack other host cells and use its energy to replicate themselves. Compared to a eukaryotic
cell, a virus is tiny.
Prokaryotic vs. Eukaryotic
A prokaryotic cell is much smaller than a eukaryotic cell and has many less organelles. An eukaryotic cell has
distinct membrane-bound organelles such as mitochondria, ribosomes, golgi complex, endoplasmic reticulum, nucleus, chloroplasts,
cell wall, plasma membrane, cytoplasm, vacuoles, centrioles, cilia, flagella, and lysosomes. A prokaryotic cell simply
has ribosomes, plasma membrane, and a cell wall.
Animal Cells vs. Plant Cells
Both animal cells and plant cells are eukarotes, but they differ in structure and organelles. Animal cells
have centrioles and mostly small lysosomes, while plant cells do not have centrioles and have larger lysosomes. Plant
cells are characterized by a cell wall, chloroplasts, and one large vacuole.
Comparing Viruses, Eukaryotes, and Prokaryotes
Out of the three, Eukaryotes are by far the largest. Prokaryotic cells are next, about one-tenth the size of a
eukaryotic cell. Viruses are much, much smaller than prokaryotes. Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic cells are both alive,
while viruses are not. Viruses have very few organelles, similar to the prokaryotic cells. They contain
a plasma membrane, cell wall, RNA or DNA, and a protein capsule.
Diagram of a Retrovirus