T4 Bacteriophage Cell-Puncturing Device

T4 Bacteriophage Cell-Puncturing Device

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Credit: KENNETH EWARD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: In appearance and function, the virus known as T4 bacteriophage resembles nothing so much as a miniature hypodermic syringe, highly specialized for the sole task of injecting its genome into a host bacterium. Once inside, the viral genes co-opt the hosts cellular machinery to build an army of bacteriophages that will, in turn, infect other bacteria. The T4 bacteriophages cell-puncturing device is an insidious hollow molecular needle through which its DNA is injected. To aid penetration of the host cell, the cell-puncturing device is equipped with three bulbous enzymatic domains that digest the cell wall. Once injected, the viral DNA is free to work its mischief. The image is a digital computer model based on real molecules. Magnification: 35 million times at 7''x7'' print size.

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Keywords: bacteriophage, cell puncturing device, cell-puncturing device, computer model, digital model, infectious phage, molecule models, phage, t4 bacteriophage, t4 phage, virus

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