DEPT. OF MICROBIOLOGY, BIOZENTRUM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DEPT. OF MICROBIOLOGY, BIOZENTRUM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
T4 bacteriophage. Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of a T4 bacteriophage virus. The swollen structure at top is the head, which contains DNA inside a protein coat. Attached to this is the tail, consisting of a tube-like sheath and tail fibres (at bottom). T4 bacteriophages are parasites of Escherichia coli, a bacteria common in the human gut. The virus attaches itself to the host bacteria cell wall by its tail fibres; the sheath then contracts, injecting the contents of the head (DNA) into the host. The viral DNA makes the bacteria manufacture more copies of the virus. Magnification: x110,000 at 6x4.5cm size.
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