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HIV viruses. Coloured Transmission Electron Micro- graph (TEM) of the interior of a cell containing Human Immunodeficiency Viruses (HIV), cause of AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). Three cross-sectioned viruses are seen. These have outer protein coats (capsids, yellow) surrounding a core of RNA genetic material (red). HIV attacks the T- lymphocyte white blood cells of the immune system. A special protein in its coat attaches the virus to the T-lymphocyte cell. The virus RNA then takes over the cell, causing it to make more HIV. The infected person's immune system is weakened, and death is caused by diseases which are usually non- fatal. Magnification: x120,000 at 6x6cm size.
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