RUSSELL KIGHTLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RUSSELL KIGHTLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Influenza A virus, computer artwork. Influenza A virus causes flu in humans, swine, birds, horses and dogs. Which species the virus will infect is determined by the haemagglutinin glycoprotein spikes (red) on the outer envelope. The protein will only bind to cells of specific species. The viral envelope also has neuraminidase glycoprotein spikes (yellow) which facilitate the release of replicated viruses from the host cell. The M2 protein (blue) forms a channel that admits protons, facilitating viral replication. The envelope itself is shown as a grey translucent layer, and the inner protein coat (capsid) as a green capsule.
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