ANIMATED HEALTHCARE LTD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ANIMATED HEALTHCARE LTD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Viruses. Computer artwork showing three typical virus shapes: helical (blue), bacteriophage (red), and icosahedral (green). Viruses contain a core of genetic material, either DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) or RNA (ribonucleic acid), surrounded by a capsid (protein coat), and sometimes an outer glycoprotein envelope. Helical viruses have their capsids arranged in a helical structure, whereas the capsids of icosahedral viruses have a 20-sided symmetry. Bacteriophages, or phages, infect bacteria and consist of an icosahedral (20-sided) capsid, a tail, and tail fibres (leg-like) that fix them to a specific receptor site.
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