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T-bacteriophages on E.coli. Coloured Scanning Electron Micrograph (SEM) of T-bacteriophage viruses attacking a bacterial cell of Escherichia coli. Dozens of blue-coloured viruses are seen around the cell, each having a head and tail. T- bacteriophages are specific parasites of E. coli bacteria. The virus attaches itself to the cell wall of the E. coli cell using it's tail. The elongated tail is a contractile sheath which acts like a syringe to squirt the contents of the head, the DNA genetic material, into the host cell. Viral DNA commandeers the genetic machinery of the cell, forcing it to reproduce more bacteriophages. Magnification: x18,000 at 6x6cm size.
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