This activity is part of a series of activities and demonstrations focusing on various aspects of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) life cycle. Students will explore an interactive that discusses some of the characteristics of viruses. They will then observe two demonstrations that illustrate how viruses exit cells. Enveloped viruses exit a cell by budding, taking the host cell membrane with them. In the first demonstration, this process is shown using a plastic bag filled with Styrofoam balls or Ping Pong balls. Nonenveloped viruses exit an infected cell by lysis, or by bursting out of and destroying the infected cell. In the second demonstration, this process is shown using a balloon filled with bits of paper.
This activity is designed to be completed in a 50-minute class period. It is appropriate for all levels of high school biology (Honors, AP, and IB).