LAGUNA DESIGN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LAGUNA DESIGN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
HIV DNA. Molecular model of a sequence of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) produced by HIV (the human immunodeficiency virus) after infecting a human cell. This is a stage in the process where HIV replicates using human cell machinery, causing AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome). DNA is a helical molecule (here spiralling across the image) made up of two interlocking sugar-phosphate strands bound together by their nucleotide bases. Three 'twists' of the helix are seen here. This is HIV-1, the more common of the two forms of HIV. This space-filled model shows 527 atoms. The atoms (spheres) are: carbon (light blue), oxygen (red), phosphorus (pink), and nitrogen (blue). Hydrogen atoms are not shown.
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