RUSSELL KIGHTLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RUSSELL KIGHTLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Coronavirus. This type of virus is thought to be responsible for the fatal outbreak of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) in early 2003. Related coronaviruses cause the common cold and some forms of gastroenteritis. They take their name from their crown (corona) of surface proteins (red). These are made of S glycoprotein, a chemical that binds to cells in the virus's host, allowing it to enter them. The virus is coated in a membrane (green) that it derives from the cells that it invades. Inside this is the core, an icosahedral protein capsid (purple) that encloses the RNA genetic material (yellow). SARS originated in China in late 2002.
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