CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
False-colour transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of virions (virus particles) of a type C oncovirus, a subtype of the retrovirus group of RNA viruses, associated with cancer in birds & mammals (including humans). Individual virions are spherical, 100 nanometers in diameter and possess a lipoprotein membrane derived from the host cell. Retroviruses possess the unique enzyme reverse transcriptase, which allows the translation of viral RNA into DNA, giving the virus the ability to subvert the host cell's genetic material. The virus may then remain latent before becoming activated & destroying its host. Magnification: x35,000 at 35mm size, x70,000 at 6x7cm size.
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