I setup two different rigs for the protein pods because I wanted one where the roots/ legs move for when it plants itself on the cell wall. The other is for when part of the pod skin splits as the newly formed virus pushes through.
The rig for the RNA was a quicker setup, basically a series of joints that allows the form to bend over and wilter.
The virus was a bit more complicated because I wanted the top and bottom spines to move idependently as well the whole body. I also attached a nurbs circle so that I could manipulate the body joint and still move the virus with the circle. I set up a loop for when the virus is moving moving the bottom spines to make it look like it is swimming and changing the size of the body joint back and forth to give a pulse - like effect.