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F/col SEM of polyhedrons containing baculoviruses

F/col SEM of polyhedrons containing baculoviruses

M050/0368

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Credit

J.C. REVY, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY J.C. REVY, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Baculovirus polyhedrons. False-colour scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of polyhedron particles which contain young baculoviruses. Here, the surface structures of many polyhedrons are seen (pink) within insect cells (blue). The baculovirus is a natural pathogen of butterflies, particularly the caterpillar stage. Polyhedrons formed in these cells are released into the environment & protect the virus during unfavourable conditions; when a caterpillar host eats them, viruses will hatch and infect the insect. The baculovirus is harmless to humans, and is easily manipulated for genetic engineering. It is being considered in the development of an AIDS vaccine.

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