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Influenza virus particles, TEM

Influenza virus particles, TEM

M055/0390

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Credit

DR KLAUS BOLLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR KLAUS BOLLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Influenza virus particles, coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM). This virus is the cause of influenza (flu) in humans and other animals. The virus particles are around 100 nanometres in diameter, and have an outer coat bearing the proteins haemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N). These proteins allow the virus to enter and leave host cells, respectively. As with all viruses, influenza cannot reproduce by itself, instead entering cells and hijacking their biochemical machinery to produce more copies of the virus. Flu usually causes lethargy, aching muscles, fever and nausea. Some strains, however, develop into far more serious forms, and epidemics in the past have killed millions. Magnification: x57,000 when printed 10cm high.

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