What are common mistakes students make with viral replication?
From the viewpoint of the virus, the purpose of viral replication is to allow production and survival of its kind.
By generating abundant copies of its DNA or RNA and packaging these copies into viruses, the virus is able to continue infecting new hosts.
Replication between viruses is greatly varied and depends on the type of genes involved in them. Most DNA viruses assemble in the nucleus while most RNA viruses develop solely in cytoplasm.
To enter the cells, proteins on the surface of the virus interact with proteins of the cell. Attachment, or adsorption , occurs between the viral particle and the host cell membrane.
A hole forms in the cell membrane, then the virus particle or its genetic contents are released into the host cell, where viral reproduction starts.
Next, a virus must highjack the host cell's replication mechanisms. After control is established and the environment is set for the virus to begin making copies of itself, replication occurs quickly.
After a virus has made many copies of itself, it usually has used up all of the cell's resources. The host cell is now no longer useful to the virus, the cell often dies by bursting and the newly produced viruses must find new hosts.
The process by which new viruses are released to find new hosts, is called shedding . This is the final stage in the viral life cycle.
Here is an animation of the viral replication of HIV. Since it is an RNA virus the steps are more complex. Click on Narration(http://www.sumanasinc.com/webcontent/animations/content/lifecyclehiv2.html)