BACTERIA & VIRUSES • Viruses are essentially made up of genetic material, they are not living cells. They must insert this genetic material into a living cell. The material then can merge with the genetic material of the new cell and be copied into all daughter cells. • Vaccinations can protect us from viruses. In a vaccination a weakened copy of the virus is injected into our body. Our body then fights the weakened virus and in doing so builds up the antibodies it would need to fight the real virus if exposed to it. • Bacteria are living cells. They get energy from other cells to reproduce and form colonies. They can be harmful, but much of the time they are either harmless or helpful. In fact, our digestive systems rely on “good” bacteria to help us digest. • Harmful bacteria can be treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics can only be used to treat bacterial infections, it is not an effective treatment for a viral infection.