BIOZENTRUM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BIOZENTRUM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
False-colour transmission electron micrograph of an adenovirus, cause of infection to the upper respiratory tract, the symptoms of which resemble a common cold. The virus contains double-stranded DNA surrounded by a protein coat, or capsid, which is composed of 252 capsomeres (subunits seen as tiny ovals) arranged into an icosahedron, or 20- faced figure. Twelve of the capsomeres have a spike projection (seen here) enabling the virus to recognise the host cell. To reproduce, viruses must take control of the genetic machinery of another cell (in this case animal cells). Magnification: x50,000 at 6x4.5cm size.
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