NIBSC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NIBSC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Transmission electron micrographs (TEMs) of sectioned particles of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the causative agent of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The series shows the formation of virus particles at the surface of infected cells. The first appearance of the virus is a small bump on the surface of a cell (1). The virus then buds out (2) and is eventually cut off from the cell membrane (3&4). The newly- released virus particle has an outer shell of dense material (5) which is reorganized to form the central nucleoid (6&7) that becomes characteristically elongated in the mature virus (8). Magnification: x70,000 at 6x7cm size.
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