Incomplete HIV particles, TEM

Incomplete HIV particles, TEM

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Credit: EYE OF SCIENCE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Non-infectious HIV particles. Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of immature HIV particles (virions, red and green). HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) particles attack CD4+ T-cells (specialised white blood cells) and make many copies of themselves inside the cells. The virions then destroy the cells as they leave them, and go on to infect more T-cells. However, these particles could not make the core proteins needed to infect other cells, because a protease inhibitor (which blocks protein-cutting enzymes) was administered. Magnification: x50000 when printed 10 centimetres wide.

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