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False-colour transmission electron micrograph of AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) virus- es. One virus is emerging from a T4 lymphocyte, a white blood cell of the immmune system, which AIDS destroys. This renders the victim liable to fatal secondary diseases. The virus (known as HIV for Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a retrovirus: its genetic programme is carried by RNA (red cores in the viral spheres), translated into DNA inside the T4 cell, & infiltrates the cell's own DNA. Once activated, the viral DNA replicates & its progeny bud from the cell wall, killing the host cell. Magnification: x32,400 at 35mm size.
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