Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)

Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)

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This image is part of the feature Modelling Nature Deadly Machines

Credit: SRIRAM SUBRAMANIAM/NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE /SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) attached to host cell membrane, computer model. This image was created using 3-D molecular modelling software and data from cryo-electron microscopy. SIV is a retrovirus that infects primates and is closely related to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS. The virus cutaway shows the lipid membrane (blue), glycoprotein spikes (red), capsid core containing genetic material (yellow) and interior protein matrix (purple). SIV specifically infects immune cells. The surface glycoproteins congregate at the site of the host cell membrane. The virus is able to fuse with the cell membrane and release the capsid into the cell. Once inside, the virus instructs the cell's DNA to replicate new SIV virions.

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