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DESIGN CELLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DESIGN CELLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Animation of a COVID-19 coronavirus (red) and a coronavirus vaccine (green). The vaccine is a plant-based virus-like particle (VLP), which resembles the active virus. Both the active virus and the vaccine have a surface covered in spike proteins (blue). These help the active virus gain entry to host cells, but can also be used to trigger an immune response. The particles open up to show that there is no genetic material within the VLP. This makes it unable to cause disease, but it still triggers an immune response. By contrast, when the active virus opens up, its coiled RNA genetic material can be seen.
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