Bacteriophage P22, computer model

Bacteriophage P22, computer model

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This image is part of the feature Modelling Nature Deadly Machines

Credit: GABRIEL LANDER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Bacteriophage P22, computer model. Cutaway view of P22 created with molecular modelling software and data from cryo-electron microscopy. Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria. P22 infects Salmonella enterica. The image shows a cutaway view of the virus 'head'. The outer layer (blue), known as the capsid, is made of protein. The interior contains tightly coiled DNA (green) and a group of proteins (red, pink) that form a portal. The portal acts as a molecular motor that powers the packaging of DNA within the virus and during the injection of DNA into a host cell. At centre bottom are proteins (orange) that form the 'tail'. Cryo-electron microscopy images specimens kept at minus 150 degrees Celsius.

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