Semliki Forest virus, computer model

Semliki Forest virus, computer model

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This image is part of the feature Modelling Nature Deadly Machines


Caption: Semliki Forest virus (SFV), computer model. This image was created using UCSF Chimera molecular modelling software and data from cryo-electron microscopy. It shows the outer (translucent grey) layer sliced in half and coloured to reveal low to high electron densities (red to blue). The inner layer (blue, green, pink) is the virus protein shell, known as the capsid. SFV is transmitted by mosquitoes and can cause encephalitis in humans and animals. It is also used as a tool in gene therapy and drug research. Cryo-electron microscopy uses beams of electrons, which are fired at multiple angles, to image specimens kept at minus 150 degrees Celsius. The 'slices' of data are reconstructed into 3-D models on computer.

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