Ribgrass mosaic virus, computer model

Ribgrass mosaic virus, computer model

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This image is part of the feature Modelling Nature Deadly Machines


Caption: Ribgrass mosaic virus (RMV), computer model. This image was created using UCSF Chimera molecular modelling software and fibre X-ray diffraction. It shows 49 protein subunits (translucent green and red) that form the helical structure of part of the virus outer coat. The complete virus contains 2100 subunits. The dark grey coil is ribonucleic acid (RNA). RMV is a plant virus that infects a wide number of crop plants. Fibre X-ray diffraction is used to calculate the molecular structure of long fibrous molecules, such as DNA, RNA, silk and hair, that do not crystalise easily. The technique fires X-rays at the molecule to produce a diffraction pattern which is reconstructed on computer.

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