ROGER HARRIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROGER HARRIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Virus. Computer artwork of a representation of a virus. Viruses are tiny infectious agents. They cause ailments ranging from warts, the common cold and influenza, to serious diseases such as rabies, Lassa fever and AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome). The virus' outer protein coat is studded with protein spikes which allow it to bind to host cells before infection. Spiked viruses include HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) which causes AIDS, and the influenza virus. These spikes may change structure, forming a new viral strain and making the immune system less effective.
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