CHRIS BJORNBERG / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHRIS BJORNBERG / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
HIV virus. Illustration based on a Transmission Electron Micrograph (TEM) of AIDS viruses (yellow) budding out of a human T-cell. HIV (Human Immuno- deficiency Virus) causes AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) by damaging T-cells - white blood cells that play a crucial role in the immune system. Like other viruses, it reproduces by planting its genes in the host cell's DNA. These take over the cell, turning it into a virus- producing machine. The resulting damage to the immune system exposes the victim to a range of opportunistic infections, leading ultimately to death. Magnification unknown.
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