STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Influenza viruses. Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of influenza (flu) viruses (red) budding from a host cell. This is the final stage in the viral replication. Viruses are only able to replicate in a host cell; flu viruses replicate in respiratory cells. They hijack the cell's machinery, making it produce new copies of the virus. When the core of a new virus is assembled it moves to the host cell's membrane, which has viral proteins embedded in it. The core pushes out and buds off from the host cell, taking part of the membrane as its envelope. Magnification: x163,000 when printed 10 centimetres wide.
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