Computer artwork of an AIDS virus, cutaway

Computer artwork of an AIDS virus, cutaway

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Credit: ALFRED PASIEKA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: AIDS virus. Computer artwork of a cutaway through a Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). HIV causes AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), in which the immune system is attacked. The virus has a core containing two strands of RNA (ribonucleic acid, blue) which carry the viral genes. White spheres represent the enzyme reverse transcriptase which inserts the genes into the host. The RNA is enclosed in a protein coat made of repeating units called capsomeres (brown). Around this is a lipid bilayer membrane (red/green) which is studded with GP120 glycoproteins (yellow) that bind to target human white blood cells. The HIV virus attacks white blood cells and weakens the immune system.

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Keywords: aids, aids virus, artwork, hiv, hiv virus, human immunodeficiency virus, virus

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