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AIDS virus. Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of an AIDS virus (red/green) budding from the surface of a T-lymphocyte white blood cell. AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is a fatal disease caused by HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). The virus particles attack T-lymphocytes, hijacking their genetic machinery to force them to produce more copies of the virus. The new virus particles then erupt from the cell to infect other T-lymphocytes. As these are a vital part of the immune system, the disease severely weakens the immune system, making victims susceptible to otherwise harmless infections. Magnification: x100,000 at 6x6cm size.
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