DR STEVE PATTERSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR STEVE PATTERSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Flu virus infecting a cell. Coloured Transmission Electron Micrograph of stages of cell infection of an influenza virus. The virus appears rounded in shape, with a core of ribonucleic acid (RNA). It has a spiked outer coat which allows the virus to attach to host cells. Host cell cytoplasm appears granular. At top frames (3 images) the virus attaches to the cell, causing the cell membrane to fold around the virus. At lower frames (3 images) the virus penetrates the cell, infecting it, and causing more influenza viruses to be produced. This virus is contagious and invades mucus cells in the respiratory tract. Magnification: x50,000 (for each inset) at 5x7cm size.
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