HIV infected cell, TEM

HIV infected cell, TEM

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Credit: EYE OF SCIENCE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: HIV infected cell. Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) particles (red and green) budding from the surface of a white blood cell. HIV attacks CD4+ T-lymphocyte white blood cells, a crucial part of the body's immune system. It enters the cell, hijacks the cell's machinery to make more copies of the virus, and the new virus particles then burst from the membrane of the cell, killing it. This severely weakens the immune system, causing AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). The disease makes the patient susceptible to diseases that would otherwise be harmless. Magnification: x4100 when printed at 10 centimetres wide.

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